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Effusion cytology of hepatocellular carcinoma with in situ hybridisation for human albumin.
  1. M R Stephen,
  2. K Oien,
  3. R K Ferrier,
  4. R A Burnett
  1. Department of Pathology, Western Infirmary, Glasgow, United Kingdom.


    While the cytological features of hepatocellular carcinoma on fine needle aspiration cytology are well described, cases of hepatocellular carcinoma with malignant cells in ascitic fluid and their characteristics are not. A patient is described with cirrhosis resulting from chronic hepatitis B virus infection, ascites, and hepatocellular carcinoma diagnosed by effusion cytology. The malignant cells in the effusion were shown to be positive for alpha fetoprotein using immunocytochemistry, and for human albumin using in situ hybridisation, confirming the diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma. Further investigations in a terminally ill patient were thus avoided.

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