Distinction of hepatocellular carcinoma from benign hepatic mimickers using Glypican-3 and CD34 immunohistochemistry.

Department of Pathology, City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA 91010, USA.
American Journal of Surgical Pathology (Impact Factor: 4.59). 04/2008; 32(3):433-44. DOI: 10.1097/PAS.0b013e318158142f
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Distinguishing a well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) from normal and cirrhotic liver tissue or benign liver nodules, such as hepatic adenoma (HA) and focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH), may be very difficult in some cases, particularly in small needle core biopsies. We studied the expression of Glypican-3 (GPC3) and CD34 in 107 cases of HCC, 19 cases of HA, and 16 cases of focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH). In addition, we studied GPC3 expression in 225 cases of nonhepatic human tumors with epithelial differentiation. Ninety-four of 107 cases (88%) of HCC showed focal or diffuse cytoplasmic GPC3 staining, whereas all HA and FNH cases were GPC3-negative, and only 7 of 225 cases (3%) of nonhepatic tumors with epithelial differentiation expressed GPC3. The sensitivity and specificity of GPC3 for HCC was 88% and 97%, respectively. There were three CD34 staining patterns observed in hepatic tissue: negative, incomplete positive, and complete positive. In negative staining pattern, only blood vessels in portal triads or rare sinusoidal spaces immediately adjacent to portal tracts were positive. The negative staining pattern was seen in normal or cirrhotic liver tissue only. The complete CD34 staining pattern showed virtually all sinusoidal spaces with CD34-positive staining throughout the lesion. The complete CD34 staining pattern was seen in virtually all cases of HCC and in only some cases of HA and FNH. The incomplete CD34 staining pattern was characterized by either CD34 positivity in virtually all sinusoidal spaces in some but not all nodules or CD34 positivity in the peripheral sinusoidal spaces adjacent to portal triads. The incomplete CD34 staining pattern was seen in rare cases of HCC and in most cases of HA and FNH. We conclude that GPC3 is a very specific marker not only for differentiating HCC from nonhepatic tumors with epithelial differentiation, but also for differentiating HCC from HA and FNH. GPC3 immunoreactivity, in combination with a complete CD34 immunostaining pattern, greatly facilitates the accuracy of distinguishing between malignant hepatic lesions and benign mimickers.

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    ABSTRACT: Glypican-3 (GPC3) has been reported to be a novel serum and histochemical marker for HCC. The positivity or negativity for GPC3 in hepatic precancerous lesions, such as dysplastic nodules (DN), has also been described. Moreover, our previous studies have demonstrated that some DN in liver cirrhosis represent monoclonal hyperplasia, and confirmed their neoplastic nature. However, additional studies must be performed to investigate further the relationship between DN with GPC3 positivity and HCC. Thus, we first investigated the expression of GPC3 in 136 HCC and 103 small DN (less than 1 cm in diameter) by immunohistochemical staining and determined the clonality of 81 DN from female patients using X-chromosome inactivation mosaicism and polymorphism of androgen receptor (AR) gene. Then we examined these samples for chromosomal loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at 11 microsatellite polymorphism sites. The results demonstrated that GPC3 immunoreactivity was detected in 103 of 136 HCC (75.7%) and 19 of 103 DN (18.4%), and the positive ratio correlated with HBsAg positivity. Clonality assays showed that 15 GPC3-positive DN from female patients, including 12 high-grade DN (HGDN), and 28 (42.4%) of 66 GPC3-negative DN, were monoclonal. In addition, among 19 GPC3-positive DN, chromosomal LOH was found at loci D6S1008 (100%, 19/19), D8S262 (52.6%, 10/19) and D11S1301 (57.9%, 11/19). However, the LOH frequency in GPC3-negative DN was 5.95% (5/84), 23.8% (20/84), and 4.76% (4/84) in three loci, respectively. Thus, we concluded that GPC3-positive DN, especially GPC3-positive HGDN, was really a late premalignant lesion of HCC.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e87120. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0087120 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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