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J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1996 Jun;11(6):551-5.

Case report: fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma in a Japanese woman: a case report and review of Japanese cases.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Koseiren Kamo Hospital, Aichi, Japan.


Fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma (FLHCC) is an entity distinct from ordinary hepatocellular carcinoma and is very rare in Oriental countries. We present here a Japanese case of FLHCC in a 25 year old woman, and review Japanese cases of FLHCC. The patient had mild abdominal pain when the hepatic tumour was revealed by ultrasonography. Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and anti-hepatitis C antibody were negative and serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) was within the normal limit. Ultrasound-guided fine needle biopsy was performed and the tumour was histologically diagnosed as FLHCC. A right lobectomy of the liver was then performed. Macroscopically, the tumour (10 x 10 x 8 cm) was circumscribed, rather hard and yellowish white. Microscopically, neoplastic hepatocytes were polygonal and large with eosinophilic cytoplasm, which contained pale bodies. A number of fibrous stroma were arranged in thin parallel bands. Consequently, the case was diagnosed as FLHCC. In Japan, approximately 18,000 people die of ordinary hepatocellular carcinoma annually, while only nine cases (including the present case; six males, three females) of FLHCC in Japanese subjects have been reported previously. The mean age of the Japanese cases of FLHCC is 20.9 years old. One case with positive HBsAg, liver cirrhosis and high level of AFP was observed of nine cases. The nature of FLHCC in Japanese subjects may not be significantly different from that in Caucasians, except for male predominance.

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