Hepatocellular Carcinoma Without Cirrhosis Presenting With Hypercalcemia: Case Report and Literature Review

Neil B. Newman, Salma K. Jabbour, Jane Date C. Hon, Joseph J. Berman, Deen Malik, Darren Carpizo, Rebecca A. Moss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in non-cirrhotic livers is an uncommon finding and can present insidiously in patients. Another uncommon finding in HCC, and one of poor prognosis, is the presence of paraneoplastic diseases such as hypercalcemia. We report a case of a 66-year-old previous healthy Filipina woman who after routine laboratory evaluation was discovered to have hypercalcemia as the first sign of an advanced HCC without underlying cirrhosis. Because of the patient's relative lack of symptoms, healthy liver function, lack of classical HCC risk factors, and unexpected hypercalcemia, the diagnosis of a paraneoplastic syndrome caused by a noncirrhotic HCC was unanticipated. Methods: Case Analysis with Pubmed literature review. Results: It is unknown how often hypercalcemia is found in association with HCC in a non-cirrhotic liver. However, paraneoplastic manifestations of HCC, particularly hypercalcemia, can be correlated with poor prognosis. For this patient, initial management included attempts to lower calcium levels via zoledronate, which wasn't completely effective. Tumor resection was then attempted however the patient expired due to complications from advanced tumor size. Conclusions: Hypercalcemia of malignancy can be found in association with non-cirrhotic HCC and should be considered on the differential diagnosis during clinical work-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-166
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical and Experimental Hepatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Bisphosphonate
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy
  • Non-cirrhotic liver
  • Paraneoplastic syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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