HepPar1, MOC-31, pCEA, mCEA and CD10 for distinguishing hepatocellular carcinoma vs. metastatic adenocarcinoma in liver fine needle aspirates

Luoquan Wang, Magalis Vuolo, Mark J. Suhrland, Kathie Schlesinger

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Objective: To investigate immunohistochemical staining of hepatocyte paraffin-1 (HepPar1), α-fetoprotein (AFP), polyclonal carcinoembryonic antigen (pCEA), monoclonal CEA (mCEA), MOC-31 and CD10 for differential diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) from metastatic adenocarcinoma (MA) on fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB). Study Design: Fifty-one archival, paraffin-embedded FNAB cell blocks, representing 18 HCCs and 33 MAs, were immunostained with antibodies for AFP CD10, pCEA, mCEA, HepPar1 and MOC-31. Results HepPar1, AFP, canalicular pCEA and CD10 were positive in 78% (14 of 18), 28% (5 of 18), 72% (13 of 18) and 35% (6 of 17) of cases of HCC, respectively. The 33 MAs were negative for immunostaining of the above antibodies except for one AFP-positive MA. Ninety-seven percent (31 of 32) of the MAs and 6% (1 of 17) of the HCCs were positive for MOC-31. Monoclonal CEA was immunoreactive on 82% (27 of 33) of the MAs and negative on all the HCCs. Conclusion: HepPar1 was the most sensitive marker for HCC, followed by canalicular staining for pCEA. For MA, MOC-31 was the most sensitive marker; mCEA was slightly less sensitive but more specific. We suggest using HepPar1, pCEA, CD10, MOC-31 and mCEA as a panel for distinguishing HCC from MA in liver FNAB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-262
Number of pages6
JournalActa cytologica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2006



  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Liver cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology

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