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Angiosarcoma of the liver: annual occurrence and aetiology in Great Britain.
  1. P J Baxter,
  2. P P Anthony,
  3. R N Macsween,
  4. P J Scheuer


    The annual occurrence of angiosarcoma of the liver (ASL) in Britain from 1963 to 1977 was studied, including clinical and occupational details for those cases agreed as ASL by a panel of histopathologists. Thirty-five cases (28 men, six women, and one infant girl) were agreed as ASL. The increase in the incidence of ASL observed in recent years was attributable to Thorotrast (thorium dioxide) usage (eight cases) and exposure to vinyl chloride (two cases) in the past. In its clinical presentation and prognosis ASL resembled primary liver carcinoma, except that extrahepatic metastases were found in only eight (23%) cases, and haemoperitoneum ws more common in those cases due to Thorotrast. The results suggested a possible increased risk of ASL in the electrical and plastics fabrication industries, but information on exposure was inadequate to implicate specific chemicals. The clinical features of one case were indicative of arsenical intoxication, but medications in the other patients did not appear to be of aetiological importance.

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