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Hum Pathol. 1992 May;23(5):496-503.

Liver cell dysplasia: a DNA aneuploid lesion with distinct morphologic features.

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  • 1Laboratory Service, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland 21218-2108.


Liver cell dysplasia is characterized by hepatocellular foci with nuclear atypia. It is often seen in cirrhosis and may be a precursor of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). To determine whether liver cell dysplasia is DNA aneuploid, 72 sections of 33 cirrhotic livers from the autopsy files of The Johns Hopkins Hospital were studied, and 14 foci of dysplasia from 13 cirrhotic livers were selected. Patients ranged in age from 32 to 70 years. Histologically, there were 10 foci of low-grade dysplasia and four foci of high-grade dysplasia. Nine HCCs served as positive controls; seven autopsy livers with no morphologic or clinical evidence of primary liver disease served as negative controls. One focus of HCC and one focus of dysplasia were unsatisfactory for analysis. Flow cytometric examination demonstrated subpopulations with DNA abnormality in four of nine (44%) foci of low-grade dysplasia, of which three were aneuploid. Three of four (75%) foci of high-grade dysplasia were aneuploid. Six of eight (75%) HCCs showed DNA abnormality, of which five were aneuploid. DNA aneuploidy was not present in the seven control livers; however, one showed DNA abnormality. We conclude that liver cell dysplasia is a morphologic entity that contains DNA aneuploid cells, a feature that supports the role of liver cell dysplasia in the evolution of HCC.

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