Hepatocellular carcinoma presenting as spinal cord compression in Native Americans with controlled hepatitis C: two case reports
Journal of Medical Case Reports
Hepatocellular carcinoma is a common malignancy in Asia. It is associated with chronic hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus infection and alcoholic hepatitis. Commonly, the tumor metastasizes to the lungs, regional lymph nodes, and bone. Recently, the incidence of metastatic spinal cord compression caused by primary hepatocellular carcinoma has been reported more frequently due to improved diagnosis and therapeutic modalities. The presentation of primary hepatocellular carcinoma with spinal
... inoma with spinal cord compression is very rare. To the best of our knowledge, there are only 33 such cases published to date. The majority of cases involve patients of Asian origin and are associated with hepatitis B infection. Case presentation: We report consecutive cases of two Native American (American Indian) patients (a 64-year-old man and a 70-year-old man) who presented with symptoms of spinal cord compression due to metastatic spread of hepatocellular carcinoma and were associated with hepatitis C infection. In one of these cases, the hepatitis C infection had been successfully controlled (hepatitis C titers were undetectable for 1 year before he presented with spinal cord compression). This occurrence in a Native American with a controlled hepatitis C infection has not been reported previously. Conclusions: Primary care physicians, oncologists, and gastroenterologists should be cognizant of this unusual presentation of hepatocellular carcinoma in a Native American. Such knowledge may help improve early diagnosis and survival.