Natural history of liver adenomatosis: A long-term observational study

Louise Barbier, Jean-Charles Nault, Fanny Dujardin, Béatrice Scotto, Marie Besson, Anne de Muret, Pascal Bourlier, Jessica Zucman-Rossi, Ephrem Salamé, Yannick Bacq
Journal of Hepatology 2019, 71 (6): 1184-1192

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Liver adenomatosis (LA) is characterized by the presence of at least 10 hepatocellular adenomas (HCAs), but the natural history of this rare liver disorder remains unclear. Thus, we aimed to reappraise the natural history and the risk of complications in a cohort of patients with at least 10 HCAs.

METHODS: We analyzed the natural history of 40 patients with LA, excluding glycogen storage disorders, in a monocentric cohort. Pathological examination was performed, with immunostaining and molecular biology carried out on surgical specimens or liver biopsies.

RESULTS: Forty patients (36 female) were included with a median follow-up of 10.6 (1.9-26.1) years. Six (15%) patients had familial LA, all with germline HNF1A mutations. Median age at diagnosis was 39 (9-55) years. Thirty-three (94%) women had a history of oral contraception, and 29 (81%) women had a pregnancy before LA diagnosis. Overall, thirty-seven (93%) patients underwent surgery at diagnosis. Classification of HCAs showed 46% of patients with HNF1A-mutated HCA, 31% with inflammatory HCA, 3% with sonic hedgehog HCA, 8% with unclassified HCA. Only 15% of the patients demonstrated a "mixed LA" with different HCA subtypes. Hepatic complications were identified in 7 patients: 1 patient (3%) died from recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma after liver transplantation; 6 (15%) had hemorrhages, of which 5 occurred at diagnosis, with 1 fatal case during pregnancy, and 2 occurred in male patients with familial LA. Four patients (10%) had repeated liver resections. Finally, 4 (10%) patients developed extrahepatic malignancies during follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS: The diversity in HCA subtypes, as well as the occurrence of bleeding and malignant transformation during long-term follow-up, underline the heterogeneous nature of LA, justifying close and specific management. In patients with germline HNF1A mutation, familial LA occurred equally frequently in males and females, with a higher rate of bleeding in male patients.

LAY SUMMARY: Liver adenomatosis is a rare disease characterized by the presence of 10 or more hepatocellular adenomas that may rarely be of genetic origin. Patients with liver adenomatosis have multiple adenomas of different subtypes, with a risk of bleeding and malignant transformation that justify a specific management and follow-up.

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