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Sato K. Tanaka M. Kusaba T. Fukuda H. Tanikawa K.
Second Department of Medicine, Kurume University School of Medicine, Asahi-machi 67, Kurume-shi, Fukuoka, 830, Japan.
We demonstrated immunohistochemical staining of a-fetoprotein (AFP) in small hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Fifty-six patients with HCC less than 2 cm in diameter were studied. Twenty-five HCCs (44.6%) were positive for AFP-staining. The positive rate of AFP-staining in HCC tissue was higher in the patients with serum AFP concentration above 20 ng/ml than that of the patients with below 20 ng/ml. AFP-staining was demonstrated on the rough endoplasmic reticulum of HCC cells by immuno-electron microscopy. AFP-staining of tissue specimens obtained by fine needle biopsy is useful in the histologic diagnosis of HCC.