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J Toxicol Pathol. 2012 Sep;25(3):189-99. doi: 10.1293/tox.25.189. Epub 2012 Oct 1.

Comparative histomorphological review of rat and human hepatocellular proliferative lesions.

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Global Pathology Support, Benoordenhoutseweg 23, 2596 BA The Hague, The Netherlands ; University Medical Center Utrecht, PO Box 85500, 3508 GA Utrecht, The Netherlands.


In this comparative review, histomorphological features of common nonneoplastic and neoplastic hepatocyte lesions of rats and humans are examined using H&E-stained slides. The morphological similarities and differences of both neoplastic (hepatocellular carcinoma and hepatocellular adenoma) and presumptive preneoplastic lesions (large and small cell change in humans and foci of cellular alteration in rats) are presented and discussed. There are major similarities in the diagnostic features, growth patterns and behavior of both rat and human hepatocellular proliferative lesions and in the process of hepatocarcinogenesis. Further study of presumptive preneoplastic lesions in humans and rats should help to further define their role in progression to hepatocellular neoplasia in both species.


foci of cellular alteration; hepatocellular adenoma; hepatocellular carcinoma; large cell change; liver; small cell change

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