Synchronous hepatocellular carcinoma and lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma arising from 2 different sites of the liver: A case report

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Rationale:Most cases of primary liver cancer involve hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma (LELC) is defined as a tumor composed of undifferentiated epithelial cells with a prominent lymphoid infiltrate, which is rarely reported. Lymphoepithelioma-like HCC (LEL-HCC) is an uncommon variant of HCC, having an unclear process of development. Here, we report the first case involving simultaneous HCC and LEL-HCC.Patient concerns:A 77-year-old female was accidentally found to have a hypoechoic hepatic nodule via an abdominal ultrasound during a health examination. Abdominal computed tomography scan revealed 2 hepatic nodules with arterial phase enhancement and washout in the late phase.Diagnoses:We diagnosed the case with 2 distinct liver nodules, HCC and LEL-HCC.Interventions:With suspicion of HCC, tumor resection (liver segments 4 and 5) was then performed. Histopathological examination of tumor 1 showed a moderately differentiated HCC and tumor 2 demonstrated a LEL-HCC. Immunohistochemically, the cells of tumor 2 were immunoreactive for cytokeratin (CK), CK7, and CK19. Epstein–Barr virus encoding small RNA (EBER) in situ hybridization results were negative.Outcomes:Six months after resection, intrahepatic tumor recurrence was noted. Radiofrequency ablation was conducted.Lessons:This is an interesting case providing circumstantial evidence of simultaneous development of HCC and LEL-HCC in distinct nodules of the liver with a background of chronic hepatitis B virus infection.

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