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J Clin Pathol. 2011 Jul;64(7):592-8. doi: 10.1136/jcp.2010.087395.

Non-cirrhotic portal fibrosis: one disease with many names? An analysis from morphological study of native explant livers with end stage chronic liver disease.

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



A group of non-cirrhotic chronic liver diseases, all with sustained portal hypertension and clinically mistaken as cirrhosis, have been described under various names, apparently because of differences in pathological features. The pathogenesis is uncertain and they were believed to have a good prognosis until it was recently shown, from study of explant livers, that they had progressed to end stage disease, needing liver transplantation.


To describe detailed morphological features of such end stage non-cirrhotic disease and examine whether the diseases bearing various names are different or represent variable morphological expressions of one entity.


Morphological features of 10 native explant livers from patients with pre-transplant diagnosis of end stage cirrhosis but finally categorised as non-cirrhotic portal fibrosis were analysed along with the relevant clinical information.


Besides absence of criteria for cirrhosis, variable grades of obliterative changes in portal vein branches and portal fibrosis were consistently seen in all livers. Fibrous intimal thickening with luminal compromise in some medium and large sized portal veins was randomly distributed but appeared characteristic of this disease, very likely representing organised mural thrombi. Areas of closely placed nodular hyperplastic parenchyma separated by compressed hepatocytes, megasinusoids and peliotic changes were seen only in a proportion of cases.


Non-cirrhotic portal fibrosis is a justifiable name for this disease that can progress to end stage liver disease. It represents a single entity that has been considered as different diseases and given various names on the basis of the dominant element in its heterogeneous morphological manifestation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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