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Panminerva Med. 2002 Dec;44(4):365-7.

CD 34 expression in chronic and neoplastic liver diseases.

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  • 1Department of Surgical Sciences, Organ Transplantation and Advanced Technologies, University of Catania, Catania, Italy. idicarlo@mbox.unict.it



Capillarisation of hepatic sinusoids is a well recognized phenomen occurring in long standing liver disease, in hepatic cirrhosis as well as in hepatocellular carcinoma. To study immunohistochemically the expression and distribution of CD34 in chronic liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma in order to evaluate the possible diagnostic implication of this marker.


Sixty-five samples of liver tissue showing normal liver, different degrees of chronic inflammation, cirrhosis and histological features of hepatocellular adenoma and carcinoma (HCC) were included in the study. The specimens were fixed in formalin and embedded in paraffin and an immunohistochemical investigation was performed by the standard avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex method with CD34.


The sinusoids of normal liver showed no immunoreactivity. The sinusoids of liver affected by different degrees of chronic active hepatitis showed no or focal immunostaining for CD34; an increased immunoreactivity was observed in the periportal sinusoids of the cirrhotic nodules whereas diffuse and strong staining was observed in the overall HCC as well as in the hepatocellular adenoma tested.


In HCC, immunoreactivity for CD34 represents an effective method to evaluate angiogenesis and to distinguish well-differentiated HCC from non-neoplastic liver. Its role in clinical stage and prognostic evaluation needs further investigation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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