Ultrastructure of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

  • Toshiro Nakashima
  • Masamichi Kojiro


The ultrastructural features of HCC vary according to the degree of differentiation [94, 95]. When HCC is less differentiated, the nuclei increase in size and nuclear irregularity becomes more evident. Ultrastructurally, moderately or well-differentiated HCC can be distinguished from the poorly differentiated type by differences in the development of cellular organelles, the number of bile canaliculi, and the cellular attachment. In moderately to well-differentiated HCC, mitochondria and rough endoplasmic reticulum (rER) are well developed; the well-developed rER is believed to be evidence of the production of secretory proteins such as albumin. The Golgi apparatus and peroxisomes are evident, but remarkably decrease in number. In accordance with these findings, the smooth endoplasmic reticulum (sER) is also poorly developed. The formation of bile canaliculi and bile production are of value in the diagnosis of moderately to well-differentiated HCC, but it is occasionally difficult to diagnose poorly differentiated HCC ultrastructurally because of the sparse formation of bile canaliculi.


Hepatocellular Carcinoma Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum Bile Canaliculus Subendothelial Space Fibrillar Material 


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Toshiro Nakashima
    • 1
    • 2
  • Masamichi Kojiro
    • 3
  1. 1.School of MedicineKurume UniversityJapan
  2. 2.Research InstituteKurume Koga HospitalKurume, 830Japan
  3. 3.The First Department of PathologyKurume University School of MedicineKurume, 830Japan

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