occult hepatic metastases(colorectal cancer)

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Accurate preoperative staging is very important in predicting the prognosis of colorectal cancer. Significant occult hepatic metastases carry a poor prognosis. If the hepatic metastases group are subtracted from the group of apparently better-classified tumours, the prognosis of these tumours is much improved.

Intraoperative ultrasound is useful in finding occult hepatic metastases. However CT scan is indicated in the staging of colorectal cancer (1).

  • if the CT scan shows metastatic disease only in the liver and the patient has no contraindications to further treatment, a specialist hepatobiliary MDT should decide if further imaging to confirm surgery is suitable for the patient - or potentially suitable after further treatment - is needed (1)

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Last reviewed 01/2018