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Indian J Med Res. 2018 Dec;148(6):728-733. doi: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_500_17.

Clinical significance of galectin-3 expression in malformed hepatic venous tissue.

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Department of Hemangioma Surgery, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Henan Provincial People's Hospital, Zhengzhou, Henan, PR China.
Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Liberation Army General 301 Hospital, Beijing, PR China.
Department of Ophthalmology, Henan Eye Institute & Henan Provincial Eye Hospital, Zhengzhou, Henan, PR China.


Background & objectives:

Hepatic venous malformation gradually develops over time and exhibits the malignant biological behaviours of being locally invasive, causing morphological and functional damage to local tissue, and may even cause systemic coagulopathy. Studies show that galectin-3(Gal-3) expression is closely associated with local invasion of malignant tumours. In this study an attempt was made to assess the clinical significance of Gal-3 in local invasion during hepatic venous malformation in patients.


Gal-3 protein and its mRNA expression were examined using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization in a total of 126 patients with hepatic venous malformation. For control tissue, 20 cases of normal tissue distal to surgical margins were also examined. In addition, the association between Gal-3 expression and pathological parameters was analyzed in hepatic venous malformation patients.


Gal-3 mRNA positivity was observed in 65.08 per cent (82/126) of hepatic venous malformation tissue samples, which was higher than the rate of 20 per cent (4/20) (P <0.05) seen in control tissues. Gal-3 protein positivity was observed in 58.73 per cent (74/126) of hepatic venous malformation tissue samples, which was higher than the rate of 15 per cent (3/20) (P <0.05) seen in the normal tissue. Gal-3 expression was not significantly associated with age or gender. However, there was a significant association between Gal-3 positivity and lesion size, local invasion depth, and involvement with the hepatic vein and the portal system.

Interpretation & conclusions:

Local tissue invasion and destruction by hepatic venous malformation may be related to the upregulation of Gal-3. Gal-3 expression and the development of venous malformation may be related and needs to be studied further.


Galectin-3; invasion; liver; venous malformation

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