Apoptosis and cytologic differentiation in hepatocellular carcinoma on fine needle aspiration samples

Pio Zeppa, Giulio Benincasa, Franco Fulciniti, Beatrix Cochand-Priollet, Giancarlo Troncone, Antonio Vetrani, Egidio Celentano, Gerardo Nardone, Lucio Palombini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate possible alterations of the mechanisms leading to apoptosis in hepatocellular carcinoma by studying bcl-2 expression on fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) samples using immunocytochemistry. STUDY DESIGN: The study was performed on a series of 84 hepatocarcinomas aspirated under ultra sound guidance. A Papanicolaou-stained smear for each case was destained and restained for bcl-2 by using the immunoperoxidase technique. bcl-2 Expression was then correlated with cytologic grading and the size of the tumor. RESULTS: In 16 cases (19%), bcl-2 immunostaining gave a specific cytoplasmic signal. Fourteen of these positive cases were well differentiated, and two were pleomorphic tumors. Six positive cases were smaller than 5 cm, 3 were larger than 5 cm, and 7 were diffuse. CONCLUSION: A significant percentage of hepatocellular carcinomas produce and accumulate bcl-2 protein in cell cytoplasm. bcl-2 Expression can be detected on destained cytologic smears. bcl-2 Expression seems to correlate with the cytologic degree of differentiation but not with the size of the tumor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)861-866
Number of pages6
JournalActa Cytologica
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • apoptosis
  • bcl-2 protein
  • hepatocellular carcinoma
  • needle biopsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Cell Biology
  • Histology


Dive into the research topics of 'Apoptosis and cytologic differentiation in hepatocellular carcinoma on fine needle aspiration samples'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this