Journal of Cytology
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 1997  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 33-40

Value of carcinoembryonic antigen and alphafetoprotein as adjuncts to morphologic classification of hepatic neoplasms on fine needle aspirates


1 Resident, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Professor, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
3 Technical assistant, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
4 Ex-professor, Department of Gastroenterology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
5 Professor and Head, Department of Pathology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Kusum Verma
Professor of Cytopathology, Department of Pathology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi. 110 029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Fine needle liver aspirates from 48 patients with hepatic malignancy were cytomorphologically categorised as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), metastatic carcinoma and carcinoma not typed (where the typing was not possible) in five, 32 and 11 cases respectively. The features found to be strongly suggestive of HCC were a trabecular or acinar pattern, presence of cytoplasmic bile or intracytoplasmic hyaline bodies, naked nuclei in the background with pseudonucleoli and prominent eosinophilic nucleoli. Alphafetoprotein (AFP) was detected in all five cases of HCC, but in only three of the 32 metastatic tumours, one of which was metastasis from a primary testicular tumour. Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) was found in four of the five HCC and 20 of the 32 metastatic tumours. Use of AFP and CEA helped categorise eight of the 11 cases not typed on morphology. Neither the positivity nor the pattern of CEA was of value in differentiating the two groups. However, AFP proved to be a fairly reliable marker of hepatocellular differentiation.


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