Korean J Pathol.  1993 Aug;27(4):371-378.

The Tissue Expression of HBsAg and HBcAg in Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Peritumoral Liver

  • 1Department of Pathology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


To evaluate the tissue expression rate and pattenr of HBsAg and HBcAg in tumors and peritumoral livers, an immunohistochemical study was undertaken on 47 surgically resected hepatocellular carcinomas(HCCs). The results are as follows. 1. Patient's sera were positive for HBsAg in 40 cases(85.1%). In the remaining 7 cases, the tumor and peritumoral liver expressed neither HBcAg nor HbSaG, suggesting that they were caused by other etiologies than hepatitis B virus. 2. The peritumoral liver had HBsAg and HBcAg in 95.0% and 27.5% among the 40 cases, respectively. But the tumor expressed HBsAg in 50.0% and HBcAg in none. 3. The expression of HBsAg within the tumor and both HBsAg and HBcAg in the peritumoral liver tended to be more frequent in the pretreated cases before surgery. 4. Edmondson-Steiner grade IV tumors revealed a lower expression rate of HBsAg than the low grade tumors(p<0.05). Incases with cirrhosis at peritumoral tissues, HBcAg was less frequently found than in those without cirrhosis. The majority of tissue HBsAg and HBcAg was represented as groups of positive cells. These results suggest that, during the development and progression of HCCs, the HBcAg containing cells are repeatedly removed and the HBcAg negative cells are selected, because cellular expression of HBcAg is the target of host immune response.


Tissue expression; Hepatocellular carcinoma; HBsAg; HBcAg; Liver cirrhosis

MeSH Terms

Carcinoma, Hepatocellular
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