Immunohistochemical and ultrastructural findings in two cases of fibrolamellar carcinoma of the liver and two cases of hepatocellular carcinoma of the common histologic type are described. Ultrastructural examination of both cases of fibrolamellar carcinoma revealed the presence of neurosecretory (NS) granules which were sparse in some cells and abundant in others. Many of the tumor cells had a distinct oncocytic appearance with abundant mitochondria. A portion of the glutaraldehyde-fixed neoplasm was processed for the uranaffin reaction (an ultrastructural cytochemical stain specific for the NS granules of neuroendocrine tissue). Abundant uranaffin-positive granules were found in the neoplastic cells of both cases of fibrolamellar carcinoma, whereas no uranaffin-positive granules were found in hepatocellular carcinoma of the common histologic type. There was no statistical difference in the mean diameter of the uranaffin-positive granules measured from both cases. Immunohisto-chemistry revealed the presence of neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and serotonin in one of the two cases of fibrolamellar carcinoma and no NSE staining in two cases of hepatocellular carcinoma of the common histologic type. These findings suggest that some liver tumors presenting histologically as fibrolamellar carcinoma may be neuroendocrine in nature.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Structural Biology