Liver cell dysplasia in cirrhosis. A serologic and immunohistochemical study

M. Roncalli, M. Borzio, G. de Biagi, A. R. Ferrari, R. Macchi, V. M. Tombesi, E. Servida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Liver cell dysplasia (LCD) was investigated for hepatitis B virus (HBV) markers, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and ferritin by serologic and immunohistochemical methods in 101 patients with cirrhosis. LCD was found in 30 cases (29.7%), with the highest incidence in cases of posthepatitic cirrhosis (67%). In the group of dysplastic cirrhosis (DC) 46.6% of the patients had active HBV infection (hepatitis B surface antigen [HBsAg] serum positivity) compared with 7% of the patients with nondysplastic cirrhosis (NDC) (P <0.01). The mean serum AFP concentration was significantly raised in the DC group compared with that in the NDC group (P <0.05). In seven patients with LCD at the initial biopsy, the histologic follow-up showed the persistence of LCD in all cases, and the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in three cases. In serologic HBsAg-positive cases, dysplastic cells, at variance with the surrounding liver parenchyma, were almost always negative for tissue HBsAg, and always negative for tissue hepatitis B core antigens (HBcAg). AFP was never detected in either normal or dysplastic cells. Ferritin was found in all cases, but dysplastic foci displayed a lesser amount of this protein. These serologic and immunohistochemical data strongly suggest a preneoplastic significance of LCD. The importance of monitoring cirrhotic patients with LCD and particularly those with HBV infection and/or increased AFP levels with more aggressive follow-up is also stressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1515-1521
Number of pages7
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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