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Mod Pathol. 2000 Feb;13(2):152-7.

Sequential observation of liver cell regeneration after massive hepatic necrosis in auxiliary partial orthotopic liver transplantation.

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  • 1Department of Surgical Pathology, Hokkaido University School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan.


The morphogenesis of hepatocytes after massive hepatic necrosis to recovery through liver cell regeneration has not been fully understood. Sequential biopsies were performed on the native liver of a 22-year-old man who underwent auxiliary partial orthotopic liver transplantation 1 month after fulminant hepatitis. Auxiliary partial orthotopic liver transplantation was successful, and the biopsy samples permitted us to examine the regenerating process of hepatocytes after massive necrosis. At the time of auxiliary partial orthotopic liver transplantation (postoperative day 0), 95% of hepatocytes were lost and a few ductules were found in the portal areas. The ductules stained with cytokeratin 19. At postoperative day 7, the ductules began to increase in size and number and became dilated over a period of 1 month, when individual hepatocytes with clear cytoplasm appeared from the ductules. As the differentiation of hepatocytes increased, the expression of cytokeratin 19 was found to decrease. From 2 to 3 months, all of the ductules were transformed into hepatocytes, and they began to form round cell clusters. From 3 to 6 months, the round cell clusters became organized into trabecula with fibrosis. From 6 to 12 months, a lobular architecture was established, and by 14 months, the necrotic liver was fully recovered to normal. This study by examination of sequential biopsies demonstrates the progression of the regenerating process from total hepatic necrosis to complete recovery.

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