Orbital metastases are an extremely rare finding in patients with hepatocarcinoma (HCC), especially as its first presentation. Therefore, the risk of misdiagnosis is high, as well as that of drastic delays of the therapeutic algorithm. Here we report a 71-year-old man presenting with orbital metastases as the initial sign of HCC, whose initial misdiagnosis led to the impossibility to start life-saving cancer treatment. The patient’s history has begun on March 2018 with a growing tumefaction of the right orbit initially treted with antibiotics and corticosteroids without benefit. Subsequently, a facial CT scan showed a voluminous right intra-orbital mass, eroding the orbital roof. Tissue biopsy documented well differentiated malignant epithelial tumor cells. Under the suspect of primitive lachrymal gland tumor, the patient was admitted to the head and neck Unit with surgical intent. However, a subsequent 18F-FDG-PET documented the presence of liver lesions and multiple sites of metastasis. A new biopsy, this time on liver nodules, was carried out and the diagnosis of HCC was finally made. Samples from the first biopsy were then reviewed and judged consistent with HCC metastasis. Unfortunately, the initial misdiagnosis resulted in a six-month delay of the start of a therapeutic approach. During that time, patient’s general conditions got extremely worse, making him unable to afford an antiblastic treatment. The patient died three months after the definitive diagnosis. This case suggests that the presence of intraorbital lesion requires a multimodal approach starting from the initial presentation. Performing a complete staging since tumor’s clinical onset is mandatory, preferably before carrying out a tissue biopsy. Even though HCC represents a rare cause of intraocular metastasis, it needs to be ruled out when an orbital mass is documented, as the short median survival and the frequently poor conditions of HCC patients make a timely diagnosis crucial.

Critical diagnostic delay associated with unusual presentation of hepatocellular carcinoma (Hcc) with orbital metastases: A case report

Filippini D. M.;Di Federico A.;Lenzi B.;Nobili E.;Brocchi S.;Malvi D.;Brandi G.
2021

Abstract

Orbital metastases are an extremely rare finding in patients with hepatocarcinoma (HCC), especially as its first presentation. Therefore, the risk of misdiagnosis is high, as well as that of drastic delays of the therapeutic algorithm. Here we report a 71-year-old man presenting with orbital metastases as the initial sign of HCC, whose initial misdiagnosis led to the impossibility to start life-saving cancer treatment. The patient’s history has begun on March 2018 with a growing tumefaction of the right orbit initially treted with antibiotics and corticosteroids without benefit. Subsequently, a facial CT scan showed a voluminous right intra-orbital mass, eroding the orbital roof. Tissue biopsy documented well differentiated malignant epithelial tumor cells. Under the suspect of primitive lachrymal gland tumor, the patient was admitted to the head and neck Unit with surgical intent. However, a subsequent 18F-FDG-PET documented the presence of liver lesions and multiple sites of metastasis. A new biopsy, this time on liver nodules, was carried out and the diagnosis of HCC was finally made. Samples from the first biopsy were then reviewed and judged consistent with HCC metastasis. Unfortunately, the initial misdiagnosis resulted in a six-month delay of the start of a therapeutic approach. During that time, patient’s general conditions got extremely worse, making him unable to afford an antiblastic treatment. The patient died three months after the definitive diagnosis. This case suggests that the presence of intraorbital lesion requires a multimodal approach starting from the initial presentation. Performing a complete staging since tumor’s clinical onset is mandatory, preferably before carrying out a tissue biopsy. Even though HCC represents a rare cause of intraocular metastasis, it needs to be ruled out when an orbital mass is documented, as the short median survival and the frequently poor conditions of HCC patients make a timely diagnosis crucial.
Filippini D.M.; Di Federico A.; Lenzi B.; Nobili E.; Brocchi S.; Malvi D.; Brandi G.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/875836
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