METABOLIC and hematologic abnormalities have been described as manifestations of primary hepatic neoplasms. Erythrocytosis is the most common of these secondary manifestations, occurring in 11.7% of patients in one series.1 Less commonly, hypercholesterolemia,2,3 osteoporosis,2,4 porphyria,5 precocious puberty,6 and hypoglycemia7 have been reported.
This report describes the occurrence of erythrocytosis and hyperlipemia in a young adult with hepatic cell carcinoma. Studies were done to clarify the mechanisms of these abnormalities. Awareness of the unusual metabolic alterations associated with hepatoma may assist in the diagnosis of obscure hepatic disease.
Routine laboratory procedures including determinations of liver function and cholesterol levels8 were performed by the clinical chemistry laboratory by standard methods. Plasma volume was determined by the isotope dilution technique using iodinated I 131 serum albumin (human). Red blood cell volume was calculated from the hematocrit and the determined plasma volume. Serum and saline extracted