Case Report
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2004. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Jan 1, 2004; 10(1): 152-154
Published online Jan 1, 2004. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v10.i1.152
Rising plasma nociceptin level during development of HCC: A case report
Andrea Horvath, Aniko Folhoffer, Peter Laszlo Lakatos, Judit Halász, Gyorgy Illyés, Zsuzsa Schaff, Monika Beatrix Hantos, Kornelia Tekes, Ferenc Szalay
Andrea Horvath, Aniko Folhoffer, Peter Laszlo Lakatos, Ferenc Szalay, 1st Department of Medicine of Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
Judit Halász, Gyorgy Illyés, Zsuzsa Schaff, 2nd Department of Pathology of Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary Kornelia Tekes, Department of Pharmacodynamics of Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
Monika Beatrix Hantos, Neurochemical Research Unit of Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary
Correspondence to: Szalay Ferenc, MD, PhD, 1st Department of Medicine, Semmelweis University, Korányi St. 2/A, H-1083 Budapest, Hungary.
Telephone: +36-1-210-1007 Fax: +36-1-210-1007
Received: September 23, 2003
Revised: October 20, 2003
Accepted: November 16, 2003
Published online: January 1, 2004

AIM: Although liver cirrhosis is a predisposing factor for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), relatively few reports are available on HCC in primary biliary cirrhosis. High plasma nociceptin (N/OFQ) level has been shown in Wilson disease and in patients with acute and chronic pain.

METHODS: We report a follow-up case of HCC, which developed in a patient with primary biliary cirrhosis. The tumor appeared 18 years after the diagnosis of PBC and led to death within two years. Alfa fetoprotein and serum nociceptin levels were monitored before and during the development of HCC. Nociceptin content was also measured in the tumor tissue.

RESULTS: The importance and the curiosity of the presented case was the novel finding of the progressive elevation of plasma nociceptin level up to 17-fold (172 pg/mL) above the baseline (9.2 ± 1.8 pg/mL), parallel with the elevation of alpha fetoprotein (from 13 ng/mL up to 3 480 ng/mL) during tumor development. Nociceptin content was more than 15-fold higher in the neoplastic tissue (0.16 pg/mg) than that in the tumor-free liver tissue samples (0.01 pg/mg) taken during the autopsy.

CONCLUSION: Results are in concordance with our previous observation that a very high plasma nociceptin level may be considered as an indicator for hepatocellular carcinoma.

Keywords: $[Keywords]