Cellular and Molecular Biology


Histological and immunohistochemical assessment of liver biopsies in morbidly obese patients

T. Caballero1,2, A. Gila2,3, G. Sánchez-Salgado1, P. Muñoz de Rueda2,3, J. León2,3, S. Delgado4, J.A. Muñoz2,3, M. Caba-Molina1, A. Carazo2,3, A. Ruiz-Extremera2 and J. Salmerón2,3

1Pathology Department, San Cecilio University Hospital, Granada (HUSC) and School of Medicine, University of Granada, Spain, 2CIBERehd, Spain, 3Digestive Diseases Clinical Unit, HUSC, Spain and 4Surgery Department, HUSC, Spain.

Offprint requests to: T. Caballero, Departamento de Anatomía Patológica, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Granada, Avenida de Madrid, 11, 18012 Granada, Spain. e-mail: trinidad@ugr.es

Summary. Aims: To study liver lesions in morbidly obese patients who underwent liver biopsy at the time of bariatric surgery to define histological lesions, especially inflammatory infiltrate, diagnostic categories and the possible influence of gender in this respect. Methods and results: 110 biopsies (36 males-M- and 76 females -F-) were evaluated and categorised, according to the NAS (NAFLD -non alcoholic fatty liver disease- Activity Score) system and other criteria, as non-NAFLD (15.5%, F predominance), non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) (16.5%, M predominance), non-alcoholic hepatosteatosis (NAHS) (21%, F predominance) and, the most numerous group, NASH-borderline (NASH-BORD) (47%), with three subgroups, characterised by centrozonal lesions, portal area preferential involvement or affecting both areas. The predominant form of hepatocytesteatosis was mixed with a multivesicular component that was present in most cases with fibroinflammatory portal involvement. Nuclear glycogenosomes were found in greater number of biopsies in patients in the third and sixth decades. Portal inflammation was present in a large number of cases (M predominance); the application of immunohistochemical techniques (myeloperoxidase and CD68 antibodies) to evaluate lobular inflammation revealed “surgical hepatitis” in one third of the cases, and the presence of microgranulomas (CD68+) (M predominance), which were more abundant with increasing lesion severity. Conclusions: Portal inflammation and multivesicular hepatocytesteatosis are highly prevalent in morbidly obese patients. This study identifies a new subtype of NASH-BORD characterized by centrizonal and porto-periportal area involvement and the existence of liver biopsies without steatosis. CD68+ microgranulomas constitute an unequivocal marker of lobular inflammation in surgical biopsies and of lesion severity, which is gender-related
. Histol Histopathol 27, 459-466 (2012)

Key words: Immunohistochemistry, Morbid obesity, Multivesicular hepatocytesteatosis, NAFLD, Portal inflammation

DOI: 10.14670/HH-27.459