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Mod Pathol. 1994 Jan;7(1):31-6.

Liver cell dysplasia in alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.


Large cell liver cell dysplasia (LCD), a suggested preneoplastic change progressing to hepatocellular carcinoma, has been reported associated with alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency which in some countries has an increased frequency of hepatocellular carcinoma. We examined the nonneoplastic liver from 13 alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency patients for LCD and, using a labeled streptavidin-biotin technique, for immunohistochemical markers: AAT (1/200), hepatitis B surface (HBsAg, prediluted) and core (HBcAg, 1/400) antigens, and monoclonal (1/20) and polyclonal (1/40) mutant p53, a tumor suppressor gene. There were eight males and five females ranging from 2 mo to 76 yr (mean 40 yr). Nine livers showed cirrhosis, one chronic persistent hepatitis, one portal fibrosis, and two cholestatic hepatitis (in the two infants). The nine cases with LCD included five males and four females of mean age 46 yr (range, 17-71), eight with cirrhosis and one with portal fibrosis. Only one liver with LCD and cirrhosis had HBcAg in cirrhotic and dysplastic cells. No patient had developed hepatocellular carcinoma. All 13 livers were immunonegative for HBsAg and mutant p53, and immunopositive for AAT present in normal, cirrhotic, and dysplastic liver cells. Thus, LCD was identified in 82% of adult alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency livers (69% including infantile patients), 89% with cirrhosis, and none with malignancy. HB expression was rarely present; serology for HB and/or hepatitis C was positive in 46% adults. Immunoreactive AAT was present in dysplastic cells. p53 gene mutations do not appear to have a role in the pathogenesis of LCD in alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency.

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