Liver mass staging

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Liver Mass Microchapters


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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Maria Fernanda Villarreal, M.D. [2]


According to the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) staging system, there are 4 stages of malignant liver mass, based on 3 factors: tumor size, lymph node invasion, and metastasis. Each stage is assigned a letter and a number that designate T for tumor size, N for node invasion, and M for metastasis. There is no staging for benign lesions.[1]


The table below summarizes the staging system for malignant liver mass, based on 3 factors: tumor size, lymph node invasion, and metastasis.

Staging factor Stage Description
Size TX Primary tumor cannot be assessed
T0 No evidence of primary tumour
T1 A single tumor with no invasion into the blood vessels of the liver
T2 A single tumor with invasion into the blood vessels or multiple tumors, none more than 5 cm in size
T3 T3a Multiple tumors, with any tumor larger than 5 cm
T3b The tumour has grown into either the portal or hepatic vein
T4 The tumor has grown into nearby organs (other than the gallbladder) or

The tumour has grown into the layer of tissue that covers the organs in the abdomen (visceral peritoneum)

Nodes NX Regional lymph nodes cannot be assessed
N0 No regional lymph node metastasis
N1 Regional lymph node metastasis
Metastasis M0 No distant metastasis
M1 Distant metastasis


  1. Assy N, Nasser G, Djibre A, Beniashvili Z, Elias S, Zidan J (2009). "Characteristics of common solid liver lesions and recommendations for diagnostic workup". World J. Gastroenterol. 15 (26): 3217–27. PMC 2710776. PMID 19598296.