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Am J Surg Pathol. 1977 Mar;1(1):31-41.

A clinicopathologic study of steroid-related liver tumors.


A registry of liver tumors was started in late 1973 in an attempt to assess the relationship of these tumors to oral contraceptives or to other environmental factors. This report is concerned with the pathological aspects and the possible pathogenesis of the first 101 tumors accessioned. There were 44 instances of focal nodular hyperplasia, 40 adenomas, four unclassified but probably benign tumors, and 13 hepatocellular carcinomas. Eighty-one patients took oral contraceptives; six were associated with pregnancy; three had taken estrogens for long periods of time; one had a thecoma; four never took sex steroids; and in five the history was unknown. Tumor rupture and intrahepatic hemorrhage were frequent complications. It is possible that the vascular lesions associated with focal nodular hyperplasia could play a part in their pathogenesis as well as with rupture. Foci of adenomatous hyperplasia may be related to the development of adenomas. The association of these tumors with sex steroids could be coincidental. The fact that none of the patients had cirrhosis of liver fibrosis, and that androgenic anabolic steroid therapy has been associated with hepatocellular carcinomas in males, suggests that further study of the problem is necessary.

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