Hepatoid adenocarcinoma of the stomach – a different histology for not so different gastric adenocarcinoma: a case report
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International Seminars in Surgical Oncology 2009, 6:13 doi:10.1186/1477-7800-6-13Published: 12 August 2009
Hepatoid adenocarcinoma is an extrahepatic tumor characterized by morphological similarities to hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatoid adenocarcinoma of the stomach is a cancer with an extremely poor prognosis with few cases reported. Here, we describe a 75-year-old Spanish man referred to our hospital with a history of abdominal pain, general fatigue, anorexia and sickness. Initial study revealed anemia, and computed tomography scan and abdominal ultrasonography showed multiple metastases to the liver with hepatocellular carcinoma characteristics in a liver with no cirrhotic change. Further study included a serum level of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), which resulted markedly elevated, and a conclusive esophagogastroduodenoscopy describing an elevated tumour growing through the cardia and gastroesophageal junction with foci of necrosis and haemorrhage. Gastric biopsies of the tumor revealed poorly differenciated adenocarcinoma, with hepatoid differentiation. After a diagnosis of AFP-producing hepatoid adenocarcinoma of the stomach with multiple liver metastases was made, pallitive total gastrectomy, without liver resection, was performed. Patient recovered well after surgery, and entered into a palliative systemich chemotherapy protocol. Although this illness is recognized as having poor prognosis, the patient remains alive 8 months after the operation. Accurate diagnosis of hepatoid adenocarcinoma of the stomach is important, and should be suspected under certain circumstances. We describe this rare case of hepatoid adenocarcinoma of the stomach, and review the literature concerning the clinicopathological aspects.