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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2013 Jul;137(7):961-6. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2012-0048-OA.

Steatohepatitic hepatocellular carcinoma, a morphologic indicator of associated metabolic risk factors: a study from India.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, India 110060.



The common risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) include persistent viral infection with either hepatitis B or C virus, alcohol abuse, hemochromatosis, and metabolic syndrome. Steatohepatitic (SH) HCC has been recently recognized as a special morphologic variant of HCC associated with metabolic risk factors.


To assess the SH pattern in HCC cases of various etiologies in Indian patients and to further correlate this morphology with the presence of metabolic risk factors.


A total of 101 cases of HCC with various etiologies in explanted livers from adults were included in the study. Morphologic examination was performed to identify SH lesions within the tumor and in the nontumorous liver parenchyma. Correlation of nontumor and tumor SH morphology with clinically identifiable metabolic risk factors and with non-SH type of HCC was performed.


The SH variant of HCC was identified in 19 livers (18.8%). Most SH-HCC cases were associated with metabolic risk factors such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemias. Comparison of SH-HCC with non-SH-HCC was statistically significant in terms of presence of metabolic risk factors.


Steatohepatitic morphology in HCC is frequent in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease-associated cirrhosis (P = .009) and is significantly associated with metabolic risk factors (P = .03). By recognizing SH pattern, one may predict associated metabolic diseases and determine the prognosis both in pretransplant and posttransplant patients.

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