Focal ultrasound lesions in cirrhotic liver diagnosed as regenerative nodules by biopsy: A morphometric analysis

Eugenio Caturelli, Saverio Fusilli, Leopoldo Costarelli, Cesare Bosman, Maria Maddalena Squillante, Angelo Andriulli, Caterina Cellerino, Maurizio Pompili, Gian Ludovico Rapaccini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ten cirrhotic patients with ultrasonically discernible focal liver masses underwent fine cutting needle biopsy. Specimens were obtained from the focal lesions under ultrasound guidance and histologically diagnosed as regenerative nodules. An image analyzer was then used to determine the cytoplasmic area, nuclear area, and nuclear/cytoplasmic ratio for 100 randomly selected cells from each specimen. Data were then compared with data for specimens of normal liver tissue and data from patients with alcoholic or posthepatitic cirrhosis or well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The morphometric parameters for the group of regenerative nodule specimens fell within an intermediate range between those for HCC and the nondysplastic samples, strongly suggesting a preneoplastic nature. Nine of the 10 regenerative lesions showed liver cell dysplasia, and 3 of these patients developed HCC during follow-up. Ultrasonically discernible focal masses in a cirrhotic liver should be considered preneoplastic, if not neoplastic lesions and treated aggressively to prevent their progression to outright malignancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-72
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • Cirrhosis
  • Fine-needle biopsy
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Morphometry
  • Regenerative nodule
  • Ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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