Hepatocellular vs biliary differentiation in hepatic carcinomas

M. B. Anreder, I. Fiel, S. N. Thung, M. A. Gerber

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Liver cancer may show hepatocellular or biliary differentiation: hepatocellular carcinoma or cholangiocarcinoma. Immunophenotypically, HepPar1 and cytokeratin 19 (CK 19) clearly distinguish hepatocellular from biliary cell lineages respectively. To gain further insight into the morphogenesis of unusual liver tumors, we examined 21 primary liver carcinomas with unusual growth patterns: 3 hepatoblastomas, 6 combined hepato/cholangiocellular carcinomas (HCC-CC), 4 poorly differentiated HCCs, 8 rare variants of HCC and 1 control HCC. Immunoperoxidase staining by the ABC method was performed with monoclonal antibodies to HepPar1 and CK 19. Results: Number of cases showing reactivity with: Hep Par 1 CK 19 Both hepatoblastoma (3 cases)0 1 0 HCC-CC (6 cases) 0 1 3 poorly diff. HCC (4 cases) 1 0 2 misc. HCC (8 cases) 2 2 3 Summary and Conclusions: 15 of the 21 liver tumors displayed expression of either HepPar1, CK 19 or both. These findings suggest that the majority of unusual liver carcinomas exhibit either hepatocellular or biliary differentiation, but about one third of these variants appear to be undifferentiated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)A227
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997


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