7. Hepatic Histopathology

  1. Eugene R. Schiff MD, MACP, FRCP2,
  2. Willis C. Maddrey MD, MACP, FRCP3 and
  3. Michael F. Sorrell MD, FACP4
  1. Zachary D. Goodman MD, PhD

Published Online: 31 OCT 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781119950509.ch7

Schiff's Diseases of the Liver, Eleventh Edition

Schiff's Diseases of the Liver, Eleventh Edition

How to Cite

Goodman, Z. D. (2011) Hepatic Histopathology, in Schiff's Diseases of the Liver, Eleventh Edition (eds E. R. Schiff, W. C. Maddrey and M. F. Sorrell), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119950509.ch7

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Center for Liver Diseases and Schiff Liver Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA

  2. 3

    Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA

  3. 4

    University of Nebraska College of Medicine, Omaha, NE, USA

Author Information

  1. Center for Liver Diseases, Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church, VA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 31 OCT 2011
  2. Published Print: 9 DEC 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470654682

Online ISBN: 9781119950509



  • Histopathology;
  • biopsy;
  • immunostains;
  • special stains;
  • patterns of injury


Histopathologic examination of a liver biopsy specimen is a source of otherwise unobtainable qualitative information about the structural integrity of the liver tissue, the type and degree of injury, and the host's response to the injury. Histopathologic examination also provides a basis for the diagnosis and classification of tumors. Histochemical and immunohistochemical stains are extremely helpful in evaluating the liver biopsy specimen. Qualitatively, different patterns of injury can be used to distinguish diseases that have similar clinical presentations, such as chronic hepatitis, alcoholic or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, and chronic cholestatic syndromes. Specific histologic features may allow precise diagnosis or strongly suggest a specific diagnosis. For example, “ground-glass” cells with positive histochemical or immunostaining for hepatitis B surface antigen indicate chronic hepatitis B infection, or florid duct lesions often indicate the early stage of primary biliary cirrhosis. Accurate classification of tumors almost always requires histologic examination of tissue obtained by either biopsy or surgical excision.