Case 311:   Metastasis - Breast Cancer

Diagnostic Category:

Clinical Presentation:

63 year old woman with breast cancer.

CT: Pseudocirrhosis following treatment of breast cancer metastases

Imaging Findings:

First axial CT image of the liver demonstrates appearance of pseudocirrhosis. 
CT done six months earlier demonstrates innumerable hepatic metastases (second image).

Baseline CT of this patient before the diagnosis of hepatic breast cancer metastases shows a normal liver (third image).

Six months after chemotherapy treatment, there is significant decrease in size of number and size of metastases.  Also, the liver now shows a nodular contour, segmental volume loss and enlargement of the caudate lobe mimicking cirrhosis. 

Volume loss and scarring of a large number of treated liver metastases causes retraction of the hepatic capsule, giving the appearance of cirrhosis (pseudocirrhosis), even though no underlying cirrhosis is present.