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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Metastatic Hepatocellular Carcinoma to Parotid Glands

Unusual clinical course, Educational Purpose (only if useful for a systematic review or synthesis)

Abdel-Naser Elzouki, Hisham Elkhider, Khalid Yacout, Ahmed Al Muzrakchi, Shaikah Al-Thani, Omer Ismail

Qatar Department of Medicine, Hamad General Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar

Am J Case Rep 2014; 15:343-347

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.890661

Available online:

Published: 2014-08-17


Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma is a common cancer, but it rarely metastasizes to the salivary glands. A review of the literature revealed only 5 reported cases of hepatocellular carcinoma metastatic to parotid glands. We here report an additional case of this rare association.
Case Report: A 66-year-old male with a background of type 2 diabetes mellitus and post-alcoholic decompensated liver cirrhosis presented with a progressively enlarging painful right facial swelling for 2 months that was eventually found to be due to hepatocellular carcinoma metastatic to the right parotid gland. Fine needle aspiration from the right parotid showed sheets and single malignant cells that were interpreted as carcinoma not otherwise specific. However, biopsy showed metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma into the right parotid gland.
Conclusions: We report an additional case of the rare metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma to the parotid glands. It should therefore be considered in a patient with decompensated liver cirrhosis presenting with a parotid swelling. Furthermore, the present case demonstrates the importance of the tissue biopsy for obtaining an accurate final diagnosis.

Keywords: Carcinoma, Hepatocellular - secondary, Biopsy, Fine-Needle, Diagnosis, Differential, Fatal Outcome, Follow-Up Studies, Liver Neoplasms - radiography, Neoplasm Staging, Parotid Gland - pathology, Parotid Neoplasms - secondary