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Zhonghua Bing Li Xue Za Zhi. 2011 Jan;40(1):23-6.

[Hepatic epithelioid hemangioendothelioma in needle biopsy specimens: report of 5 cases with review of literature].

[Article in Chinese]

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Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Translational Research (Ministry of Education), Department of Pathology, Peking University School of Oncology, Beijing Cancer Hospital & Institute, Beijing 100142, China.



To evaluate the pathologic diagnosis of hepatic epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (EH) in needle biopsy specimens.


Five cases of hepatic EH diagnosed in needle biopsies encountered during the period from 1999 to 2010 in Beijing Cancer Hospital were retrospectively reviewed. The specimens were formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded and stained with hematoxylin and eosin. Immunohistochemical study was also carried out.


All the 5 patients were females. The age ranged from 23 to 47 years (mean = 39 years). The tumors in 4 patients were multiple and diagnosed as "metastasis" on ultrasound examination. The blood test results in all of the 5 patients were normal. Histologically, the tumor cells had an epithelioid appearance and were arranged in cords, solid nests or isolation, amongst a myxoid or hyaline matrix. The tumor cells contained scattered intracytoplasmic vacuoles which sometimes harbored red blood cells. There was no evidence of significant cellular pleomorphism, high mitotic activity and necrosis. Immunohistochemically, all of the 5 cases were positive for at least two endothelial markers (CD31, CD34 and factor VIII-related antigen). Smooth muscle actin was expressed in 1 case.


The diagnosis of hepatic EH can be established in needle biopsy specimens. The histologic pattern, when coupled with immunohistochemical findings, is useful in arriving at the correct diagnosis.

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