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Ann Diagn Pathol. 2013 Dec;17(6):490-3. doi: 10.1016/j.anndiagpath.2013.08.001. Epub 2013 Sep 6.

Diagnostic role of glypican 3 and CD34 for differentiating hepatocellular carcinoma from nonmalignant hepatocellular lesions.

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  • 1Pathology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt.


Well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) may be difficult to distinguish from a benign lesion. Glypican 3 (GPC-3) is an oncofetal protein, which has been demonstrated to be up-regulated in HCC. The aim of this study is to evaluate the diagnostic role of combined GPC-3 and CD34 immunoassaying in the distinction between HCC and benign hepatic mimickers. This study was performed on 100 cases of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded cases of hepatic focal lesions obtained from the files of pathology laboratory of our university from 2009 to 2012. The following groups were studied: group A (n = 60) (hepatocellular malignant lesions) and group B (n = 40) (Hepatocellular nonmalignant lesions). All cases were stained with GPC-3 and CD34. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were calculated for both antibodies. Glypican 3 and complete CD34 staining pattern expression in group A was significantly higher than in group B. The results of costaining showed that, in HCCs, almost all the GPC-3-positive cases had a complete CD34 staining pattern, whereas in the 40 hepatocellular nonmalignant lesions, none stained up with the 2 markers. Therefore, although the sensitivity declined (82%), the specificity and positive predictive value (PPV) of costaining reached 100% and were greater than that observed for single staining with GPC-3 (specificity, 92.5%; PPV, 94.3%) or CD34 (specificity, 97.5%; PPV, 98.3%). Our data demonstrate that GPC-3 and CD34 costaining has better diagnostic value for differentiating HCC from nonmalignant hepatocellular lesions than does single staining.

© 2013.


3; CD34; Combined; Glypican; Hepatocellular carcinoma

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