Published online Aug 28, 2006. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v12.i32.5247
Revised: October 16, 2005
Accepted: October 26, 2005
Published online: August 28, 2006
Bone metastases are rare in primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Spinal cord compression (SCC) due to bone metastases occur commonly in patients with lung and breast carcinomas, and metastatic HCC is an unusual cause of SCC. Spinal cord compression is an oncologic emergency and treatment delays can lead to irreversible consequences. Thus, the awareness that SCC could be a potential complication of bone metastases due to HCC is of significance in initiation of early treatment that can improve the quality of life and survival of the patients, if diagnosed earlier. This paper describes four cases of primary HCC with varied manifestations of SCC due to bone metastases. The first patient presented primarily with the symptoms of bone pains corresponding to the bone metastases sites rather than symptoms of associated hepatic pathology and eventually developed SCC. The second patient, diagnosed as having HCC, developed extradural SCC leading to paraplegia during the course of illness, for which he underwent emergency laminectomy with posterior fixation. The third patient developed SCC soon after the primary diagnosis and had to undergo emergency laminectomy. Post laminectomy he had good neurological recovery. The Fourth patient presented primarily with radicular pains rather than frank paraplegia as the first manifestation of SCC.