Metastasis to the skull frequently occurs in patients with lung, breast and prostate cancer. However, skull metastases from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) have been rarely reported. We review the literature on skull metastasis from HCC and report a case of a 46-year-old male, who was diagnosed as HCC and was operated on by trans-arterial embolization and lobectomy in Oct. 2004. He complained of a painless mass over the left frontal region for two months. Radiograph of the skull revealed an osteolytic mass about 4-5 cm in size over the left frontal region. A cranial computerized tomography demonstrated a destructive lesion with soft tissue mass over the left frontal region. A left frontal craniectomy was performed and tumor was totally removed. The histological diagnosis was cranial metastasis from HCC. Postoperative recovery was uneventful without any neurological deficits. Because of improved and advancing treatment for HCC, survival time for HCC has been lengthened and distant metastasese will thus be found to increase. Early diagnosis is essential to treat the primary disease. Skull metastases from HCC should be considered as a differential diagnosis in patients with scalp subcutaneous mass and osteolytic defect on X-ray skull films.
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