Papers And Originals

Role of liver scanning in the preoperative evaluation of patients with cancer

Br Med J 1969; 4 doi: (Published 06 December 1969) Cite this as: Br Med J 1969;4:585
  1. Kattadiyil P. Poulose,
  2. Richard C. Reba,
  3. Frank H. Deland,
  4. 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.