Introduction: The use of fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography to evaluate well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinomas is facing critical problems. It is reported that the activity of fluorodeoxyglucose-6-phosphatase, which converts fluorodeoxyglucose-6-phosphatase to fluorodeoxyglucose, is high in normal liver cells. However, the enzyme-converting activity of glucose-6-phosphatase of well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinomas is similar to normal liver tissue. Thus, using fluorodeoxyglucose in diagnosing primary hepatocellular carcinomas is difficult. However, using fluorodeoxyglucose to detect extrahepatic metastasis of hepatocellular carcinomas is still possible. Case presentation: We describe the case of a 45-year-old Chinese woman who developed a recurrent lesion in the chest wall from a previous surgically resected hepatocellular carcinoma. This recurrent lesion was detected first on the basis of a positron emission tomography scan, then on the basis of a computed tomography scan and other clinical tests. Conclusion: This finding indicates that the positron emission tomography scan is a potentially reliable tool to screen for systemic metastatic disease in patients with hepatocellular carcinomas when other cross-sectional imaging tests such as computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging are negative.
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