Outcome of indeterminate liver lesions on computed tomography in patients with colorectal cancer


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Abstract

IntroductionThe aim of this study was to determinate the outcome of indeterminate liver lesions on computed tomography (CT) in patients with a background history of colorectal cancer (CRC) and to identify clinicopathological variables associated with malignancy in these lesions. A secondary aim was to devise a management algorithm for such patients.MethodsPatients referred to our institution with indeterminate liver lesions on CT with a background history of CRC between January 2012 and December 2014 were included in the study. Clinicopathological factors, surveillance period and histological findings were analysed.ResultsFifty-six patients with indeterminate liver lesions were identified. Fifty-three (94.6%) of these required further imaging (magnetic resonance imaging [MRI; n=50] and positron emission tomography combined with CT [n=3]). For the patients who had MRI, the underlying diagnosis was benign in 19 and colorectal liver metastasis (CRLM) in 8 while 23 patients and an indeterminate lesion. In cases that remained indeterminate following MRI, liver resection was performed in 2 patients for a high suspicion of CRLM while the 21 remaining patients underwent interval surveillance (median: 9 months, range: 3-52 months). Of these 21 patients, 14 had benign lesions while CRLM was noted in 6 patients and an incidental hepatocellular carcinoma in a single patient. Age ≥65 years was the only statistically significant clinicopathological factor in predicting an underlying malignancy in patients with indeterminate liver lesions on CT.ConclusionsOver a third of the patients diagnosed with indeterminate liver lesions on CT subsequently showed evidence of CRLM. These indeterminate lesions are more likely to be malignant in patients aged ≥65 years.

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