Sarcoma of the Liver.
Sarcoma of the liver very rarely occurs in the primary form. When it does, it is usually in the form of nodules of various sizes, distributed throughout the liver. They may arise from the interstitial connective tissue of the organ, or from the connective tissue of the blood-vessels and bile-ducts. They are most frequently found in young subjects.
Secondary sarcomata are more frequently found, the primary lesion being in the skin, eye, kidney, anus, or rectum. The liver is infiltrated or studded with brown or black nodules, and when a section is made, presents a mottled or granite-like appearance. In rare cases the liver is infiltrated with dark, granular material, there being no nodules. The growth is composed of small round cells, giant cells, and spindle cells.
The symptoms are similar to those of cancer, and are due to obstruction, gastro-intestinal disturbance, edema and ascites being the most pronounced. Progressive emaciation is characteristic, although cachexia is not present. The absence of cachexia, and the fact that it occurs more frequently in the young, may enable one occasionally to differentiate this from cancer, although usually the true nature of the disease is only determined during an autopsy,.
The prognosis, like that of cancer, is always unfavorable, and the treatment only palliative and similar to that of carcinoma.
The Eclectic Practice of Medicine, 1907, was written by Rolla L. Thomas, M. S., M. D.