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The incidence and characteristics of some paraneoplastic syndromes of hepatocellular carcinoma in Nigerian patients



The incidence and characteristics of some paraneoplastic syndromes of hepatocellular carcinoma in Nigerian patients



European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 11(12): 1401-1404



To determine whether paraneoplastic syndromes of hepatocellular carcinoma such as erythrocytosis, hypoglycaemia, hypercholesterolaemia and hypercalcaemia are found in Nigerian patients with this tumour, and, if present, to determine their incidence and characteristics. Consecutive patients with a diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma seen over a 10-year period at Ile-Ife, Nigeria, underwent haematocrit (100 patients), plasma glucose (65), cholesterol (65) and calcium studies (30). Shortage of laboratory reagents did not allow all the 100 patients to be tested for plasma glucose, cholesterol and calcium. Haematocrit was determined by the microhaematocrit method, and the glucose oxidase-peroxidase, Liebermann-Burchard and O-cresolphthalein complexone methods were employed for the estimation of plasma glucose, cholesterol and calcium respectively. The haematocrit values ranged from 19 to 63% with a mean of 34.51% (SD 7.72). Only 1 out of 100 patients (1%) had erythrocytosis (haematocrit 63%). Sixty-five patients had their plasma glucose determined. The range of values for fasting plasma glucose (FPG) was 1-8.4 mmol/l with a mean of 4.3 (SD 1.6). Hypoglycaemia occurred in 18 patients (27.7%)(14 males, 4 females). The mean liver span for patients with FPG > 5.0 mmol/l was 16.87 cm (SD 3.03), while the value for those with FPG < 3.0 mmol/l was 22.0 cm (SD 6.14, P < 0.05). Plasma cholesterol was determined in 65 patients and the range of values was 2.1 -18.1 mmol/l with a mean of 5.65 (SD 2.42). Hypercholesterolaemia occurred in 16 patients (24.6%) (15 males, 1 female). The range of plasma calcium obtained in 30 patients was 1.6-3.15 mmol/l with a mean of 2.36 (SD 0.32). Three patients (10%) (all males) had hypercalcaemia. While erythrocytosis has a low incidence, hypoglycaemia and hypercholesterolaemia are important paraneoplastic syndromes of hepatocellular carcinoma in Nigerian patients. The study confirms that the larger the liver mass, the greater the tendency towards hypoglycaemia. Also, the paraneoplastic syndromes studied occurred predominantly in hepatocellular carcinomas with cirrhosis.

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Accession: 047663127

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PMID: 10654801


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