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FNH-like nodules: Possible precursor lesions in patients with focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH).

Abstract : BACKGROUND: The typical lesion of focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH) is a benign tumor-like mass characterized by hepatocytic nodules separated by fibrous bands. The solitary central artery with high flow and the absent portal vein give the lesions their characteristic radiological appearance. The great majority of cases seen in daily practice conform to the above description. Additional small nodules (from 1-2 up to 15-20 mm in diameter) detected by imaging techniques or on macroscopic examination may be difficult to identify as representing FNH if they lack the key features of FNH as defined in larger lesions. The aim of this study was to characterize these small nodules, and to compare their characteristics with those of typical lesions of FNH present in the same specimens. RESULTS: Eight patients underwent hepatic resections for the removal of a mass lesion ("nodule") diagnosed as: FNH (1 patient); nodules of unknown nature (5 patients); or nodules thought to be adenoma or hepatocellular carcinoma (2 patients). Six nodules out of 9 discovered by imaging techniques met histopathological criteria for the diagnosis of typical FNH, at least in parts of the nodule; 2 nodules corresponded to a minor form of FNH ("subtle FNH") and one nodule to a steatotic area. Although FNH was thought to be found in a normal or nearly normal liver, this study revealed that, in addition, there were various types of small FNH-like nodules and vascular abnormalities in the liver with typical FNH nodule. The various types of small FNH-like nodules (n = 8, diameter 2 to 20 mm) consisted of the association to various degrees of numerous and/or enlarged arteries in portal tracts or in septa, with hyperplastic foci, slight ductular reaction, and regions of sinusoidal dilatation, accompanied by thin fibrous bands. Vascular abnormalities consisted of unpaired arteries, portal tracts with arteries larger than the associated bile duct, and regions of sinusoidal dilatation. CONCLUSIONS: Although these small nodules can be considered as insufficient type or abortive forms of FNH, or adenoma, they can be precursors of the large mass lesions in which FNH was recognized and defined.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 6, 2006 - 2:37:37 PM
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Sébastien Lepreux, Christophe Laurent, Charles Balabaud, Paulette Bioulac-Sage. FNH-like nodules: Possible precursor lesions in patients with focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH).. Comparative Hepatology, BioMed Central, 2003, 2 (1), pp.7. ⟨10.1186/1476-5926-2-7⟩. ⟨inserm-00115577⟩

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