The so-called dysplastic nodule-carcinoma sequence in the liver is generally accepted because hepatocellular carcinoma is not an uncommon finding in precancerous lesions. In order to evaluate the existence and frequency of de novo hepatocarcinogenesis we studied 112 surgically resected early well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinomas showing replacing growth without less differentiated component in themselves. They were divided into two groups: carcinoma in dysplastic area (type A) and carcinoma without dysplastic area (type B) and were analyzed clinicopathologically. We encountered 77 cases of type A (68.8%) and 35 of type B (31.2%). The frequency of type A in cirrhotic group (74.7%) is statistically higher than that of non-cirrhotic group (54.5%) (p=0.0453). Using multivariate analysis, the occurrence of type A was related with higher age, the presence of cirrhosis and hepatitis B surface antigen positive. The tumor size and the presence of fatty change in the tumor tended to relate with type A. We propose two pathways morphologically in early hepatocarcinogenesis, one of which has a close relation to hepatitis B virus and/or cirrhosis.
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