Lymphoepitelioma-like hepatocellular carcinoma: a case report and a review of the literature.

Department of Cytomorphology, Section of Pathology, University of Cagliari, Istituto di Anatomia Patologica, Ospedale San Giovanni di Dio, Via Ospedale no. 46, Cagliari, Italy.
World Journal of Gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 2.43). 09/2008; 14(29):4694-6.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Lymphoepitelioma is a particular form of undifferentiated carcinoma, characterized by a prominent lymphoid stroma, originally described in the nasopharynx. Lymphoid stroma-rich carcinomas arising in other organs have been termed lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma (LELC). In the liver, primary LELCs are very rare, and the majority has been identified as cholangiocarcinomas. Here a rare case of lymphoepithelioma-like hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is described. A 47-year old woman presented with abdominal pain. Ultrasonography revealed a liver nodule, 2.2 cm in diameter, localized in the right lobe, adjacent to the gallbladder. Viral markers for hepatic B virus (HBV), hepatic C virus (HCV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) were negative. The nodule was hypoechogenic. The patient underwent surgery, with resection of the nodule. Histology showed hepatocellular carcinoma, characterized by a prominent lymphoid infiltrate. At immunocytochemistry, tumor cells were reactive for Hep Par1 and glypican 3. Immunophenotyping of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes evidenced the predominance of CD8+ cytotoxic suppressor T cells. The postoperative clinical outcome was favorable and the patient was recurrence-free 15 mo after resection. This case, to the best of our knowledge, is the first reported non EBV and non cirrhosis-associated lymphoepithelioma-like hepatocellular carcinoma. The association between the lack of EBV infection, the absence of cirrhosis, a "cytotoxic profile" of the inflammatory infiltrate and a good prognosis could identify a variant of lymphoepithelioma-like HCC with a favorable clinical outcome.

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