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J Hepatol. 1996 Dec;25(6):976-9.

Role of oral contraceptives in the growth of a multilobular adenoma associated with a hepatocellular carcinoma in a young woman.

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Service d'Anatomie et de Cytologie Pathologiques, CHU de Saint-Etienne, France.



The occurrence of hepatocellular neoplasms is frequently reported in young females. The role of oral contraceptives in the development of these tumors is considered.


A 14-cm tumor was diagnosed in a 24-year-old female who had been taking the contraceptive pill for the last 3 years. Numerous blocks of this lesion were histologically and immunohistochemically analyzed. Some fragments of the lesion were snap-frozen in order to search for sex hormonal receptors and hepatitis B and C virus.


On histological examination, the tumor was found to be a hepatocellular, multilobular adenoma with small foci of hepatocellular carcinoma. Neither hepatitis B virus nor hepatitis C virus was found in serum or in the tumor. Nuclear estrogen receptors and progesterone receptors were detected by immunohistochemical analysis in both the adenoma and the carcinoma, but only progesterone receptors were detected by a radio-ligand binding assay in the tumor.


This finding suggests that the contraceptive pill may stimulate the growth of hepatocellular, multilobular adenomas through the binding of hormonal compounds to their specific receptors within tumoral cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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