Histological abnormalities were identified in
noncancerous hepatic tissues of hepatocellular carcinoma patients after
hepatitis C virus eradication, indicating hepatocarcinogenesis, according to
findings presented at The Liver Meeting, the 2011 Annual Meeting of the
American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.
Researchers from Japan aimed to assess the association
between hepatocarcinogenesis and the sustained virological response rate among
20 patients. Five patients with hepatocellular carcinoma were assigned to group
A, and 15 patients without hepatocellular carcinoma were assigned to group B.
Electron microscopy was used to study noncancerous
hepatic tissues of patients from group A in comparison with liver tissues from
group B. Dilation of vesicular endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondrial
alterations were assessed on a scale of zero to 10, based upon dense granules
(1 point), paracrystalline inclusions (2 points), vacuole formation (3 points),
irregularity of mitochondrial shapes (4 points) and lack of mitochondrial
membrane (5 points), according to the study abstract.
Vesicular endoplasmic reticulum analysis indicated
scores of more than 2 points for all patients with hepatocellular carcinoma vs.
only 27% of patients without.
Further, scores of more than 5 points were observed for
all patients with hepatocellular carcinoma vs. only 6.7% of patients without
hepatocellular carcinoma when morphological mitochondrial alterations were
For more information:
- Aizawa N. #388. Presented at: 2011 AASLD Annual Meeting; Nov. 3-8;
Paul J. Pockros, MD
I am not sure why the electron microscopy appearance of the endoplasmic reticulum in hepatocellular carcinoma is different than non-hepatocellular carcinoma HCV livers, but it does not surprise me. I would not expect the electron microscopy appearance of hepatocellular carcinoma cells to look like non-malignant cells.
Paul J. Pockros, MD
Scripps Translational Science Institute
Disclosure: Dr. Pockros is director of clinical research, Scripps Translational Science Institute and head of the division of gastroenterology/hepatology, Scripps Clinic, in La Jolla, Calif. He reports being a consultant and serving on advisory boards for: Genentech, Vertex, Merck, Gilead, BMS, Abbott, Phenomix, Tibotec, Pharmasset, Pfizer, Conatus, 3RT, Novartis, J&J, Achillion and Regulus Therapeutics; and has grants/contracts with: Genentech, Vertex, Gilead, BMS, Abbott, Quest, Conatus, Tibotec, Pfizer, GlobeImmune, Debio, Novartis, Mochida, ZymoGenetics and HGS.