Liver Tumor (Hepatocellular Adenoma) in Cats


PetMD Editorial

Updated Aug. 24, 2022

Hepatocellular Adenoma in Cats


Hepatocellular adenoma is a benign tumor involving the liver cells. It stems from an over-growth of epithelial cells, which are used for secretion in the body. Fortunately, this type of tumor is very rare in cats.


Symptoms and Types


Mostly no symptoms are obvious in affected animals, though a rupture of a tumor mass may result in blood accumulation in the abdomen. The following are symptoms of hepatocellular adenoma in cats:


  • Weakness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Poor appetite




The exact cause is currently unknown.




Your cat’s veterinarian will take a detailed history from you and perform a complete physical examination. Routine laboratory testing includes a complete blood count, biochemistry profile, and urinalysis, where results are usually normal. In few animals these results may show anemia and abnormally high levels of liver enzymes. Radiographic studies may show a mass in the liver. Similarly, ultrasonography helps in diagnosis, revealing masses, hemorrhage, and other abnormalities.


Your veterinarian will also take a small sample of the tumor mass under ultrasound guidance. After processing, your veterinarian will observe the sample under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis. 




Surgery may be attempted to excise the tumor along with some normal tissue. A large portion of the liver can be removed if required. If the tumor is bleeding, a blood transfusion may be required for your cat. Other symptomatic treatment is conducted to minimize discomfort related to this disease.


Living and Management


Your veterinarian will perform regular checkups every three to four months to check for recurrence. Laboratory testing may also be conducted on a regular basis to see the status of the tumor. Abdominal ultrasound is an excellent tool for evaluating the status of the tumor. As benign in nature, complete excision of the tumor mass will lead to an excellent recovery in most cases.

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