A mixed epithelial and mesenchymal tumor of the liver arising in an adult is rare and is mostly classified as sarcomatoid hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In this study, a case of sarcomatoid HCC in an adult with hepatoblastoma (HB)-like features, which produced difficulty in the differential diagnosis between sarcomatoid HCC and mixed HB, is presented. The epithelial component of the tumor composed of poorly differentiated HCC, Edmondson's grade III, and more primitive components, which were embryonal and small cell undifferentiated components of HB-like areas. The small undifferentiated cells surrounded HCC and the embryonal component of HB-like area, and revealed transition partly to areas of rhabdomyosarcoma. A small portion of chondrosarcoma was also noted. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that HCC and the embryonal component of HB-like areas expressed alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and cytokeratin 8. The small undifferentiated cells were negative for AFP but stained with cytokeratin 8 as well as CD56, which is a marker of primitive cells in many sarcoma and HB. It is not certain whether small undifferentiated cells belong to hepatic progenitor cells or primitive mesenchymal cells. Polymerase chain reaction-single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis for beta-catenin mutation using microdissection revealed no mutation of any components. A review was undertaken of the cases previously reported as adult hepatoblastoma without detailed immunohistochemical study and consider many of them may be sarcomatoid HCC.These primitive and sarcomatoid components would be arising from the dedifferentiation process of HCC.
- Hepatocellular carcinoma