Role of liver scanning in the preoperative evaluation of patients with cancerBr Med J 1969; 4 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.4.5683.585 (Published 06 December 1969) Cite this as: Br Med J 1969;4:585
- Kattadiyil P. Poulose,
- Richard C. Reba,
- Frank H. Deland,
- Henry N. Wagner
Liver scan characteristics and liver function tests of 72 patients with proved hepatic malignancy (54 metastatic, 18 primary) were evaluated. Well-defined focal defects were observed in 83% of patients with metastatic and 77% of patients with primary liver carcinoma. In 10% of the patients with metastatic liver disease the distribution of radioactivity was normal. Four or more biochemical liver function tests were normal in 33% of metastatic and 29% of primary liver cancer patients. Hepatic enlargement was present in the scan in 94% of the patients with liver metastases; however, data obtained from 104 necropsies of patients with hepatic metastases showed that only 46% had hepatomegaly. We recommend, therefore, that a liver scan should be performed before major tumour surgery in every patient with known malignancy regardless of normal liver size or normal liver function tests.