Research Papers:

The stromal morphological changes for differential diagnosis of uninodular high-grade dysplastic nodule and well-differentiated small hepatocellular carcinoma

Long-Hai Feng, Han Wang, Hui Dong, Yu-Yao Zhu and Wen-Ming Cong _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:87329-87339. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.20607

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Long-Hai Feng1,2,3,*, Han Wang1,2,3,*, Hui Dong1,2,3, Yu-Yao Zhu1,2,3 and Wen-Ming Cong1,2,3

1Department of Pathology, Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital, The Second Military Medical University, Yangpu, Shanghai, 200438, China

2Key Laboratory of Signaling Regulation and Targeting Therapy of Liver Cancer (Second Military Medical University) Ministry of Education, Yangpu, Shanghai, 200438, China

3Shanghai Key Laboratory of Hepatobiliary Tumor Biology (Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital ), Yangpu, Shanghai, 200438, China

*Authors contributed equally to this work and serve as co-first authors

Correspondence to:

Wen-Ming Cong, email: [email protected]

Keywords: HGDNs, WD-SHCCs, stromal changes, diagnosis, differential diagnosis

Received: April 09, 2017     Accepted: August 17, 2017     Published: September 01, 2017


Aim: The stromal invasion has been regarded as the most valuable clue to distinguish high-grade dysplastic nodules (HGDNs) and well-differentiated small hepatocellular carcinomas (WD-SHCCs). The purposes of this study are to explore the stromal morphological changes for the differential diagnosis of these two equivocal lesions.

Results: Based on the systemic studies of histological characteristics of HGDNs and WD-SHCCs, the stromal morphological changes, including sinusoid capillarization, ductular reaction and solitary artery, were performed to make a differential diagnosis between them. Separately, the solitary artery had the best sensitivity (93.75%) and accuracy (88.89%), and the sinusoid capillarization had the best specificity of 90.32%. On the whole, when at least 2 stromal morphological changes were abnormal, no matter what combination, the diagnostic performance was favorable and optimal with the highest accuracy of 92.06%, balancing the sensitivity (93.75%) and specificity (90.32%). The diagnostic performances were prior to the classical immunohistochemical panel comprising heat shock protein 70, glypican 3 and glutamine synthetase with the best sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of 62.50%, 80.65% and 71.43%, respectively.

Materials and Methods: A retrospective case-control study was conducted on 63 patients who underwent partial hepatectomy for uninodular HGDNs or WD-SHCCs at the Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital from 2005 to 2015.

Conclusions: The stromal morphological changes, containing sinusoid capillarization, ductular reaction and solitary artery could provide a more considerable diagnostic and differential diagnostic performance between HGDNs and WD-SHCCs. And they should be the key points during the histopathological diagnosis.

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