Hepatic leiomyosarcoma

Dr Craig Hacking and Dr Matt A. Morgan et al.

Hepatic leiomyosarcomas are rare primary malignant tumours derived from smooth muscle cells in the liver.

Hepatic leiomyosarcoma is rare 1. An equal sex distribution and a broad age range (5 months-66Y) has been reported. Some have suggested an associated with AIDS 2.

The tumour may derive from smooth muscle cells of the bile ducts or blood vessels. No underlying etiologic factors are known. Not associated with cirrhosis, but may be related to EBV. C-kit negative (differentiates it from GIST).

Uniform spindle cells with blunt nuclear ends. Variable mitoses. A few large cells may be noted.

Vimentin and desmin positive. 

  • "pseudocystic pattern" with heterogeneous enhancement 3
  • commonly large at diagnosis (6-35 cm)
  • may be predisposed to rupture/haemorrhage 4
  • pedunculated leiomyosarcoma has been reported and may arise from the ligamentum teres
  • relatively well-marginated mass
  • heterogeneous T2 signal
  • intratumoral haemorrhage may result in patchy increase in T1 signal
  • slowly increasing enhancement on later postcontrast dynamic phases
  • foci of restricted diffusion
  • markedly hypermetabolic

Surgical resection is the standard treatment but with the rarity of the tumour, its effectiveness is uncertain. It had previously been reported that the majority of patients have recurrent tumour and some develop widespread metastatic disease, however, some recent studies suggest that this prognosis was based on some earlier misclassification of GIST tumours as hepatic leiomyosarcomas 5,7. The clinical course of a pedunculated leiomyosarcoma may be benign 6.

Hepatobiliary pathology
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Article information

rID: 32360
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Primary hepatic leiomyosarcoma
  • leiomyosarcoma of the liver

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Cases and figures

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    Case 1: axial C+ portal venous phase
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    Case 1: axial T1 + C (late arterial)
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