Intrahepatic peribiliary glands of humans. II. Pathological spectrum


Dr Yasuni Nakanuma, Department of Pathology (II), Kanazawa University School of Medicine, Kanazawa, 920, Japan.


Abstract The pathological spectrum of intrahepatic peribiliary glands is reviewed here. Several categories of histopathological changes such as necro-inflammation, cystic dilatation, hyperplasia and neoplasia have been identified in this glandular system. Necro-inflammation is associated with biliary tract diseases and chronic advanced liver diseases and may also appear in the livers of subjects with extrahepatic diseases such as sepsis. Cystic changes of microscopic sizes are not uncommon in autopsy livers of chronic advanced liver diseases, portal hypertensive diseases and also polycystic liver of adult type. Grossly recognizable cysts are, however, infrequent and occasionally cause compression of the adjoining bile ducts. Hyperplasia of these glands, which occurs consistently in hepatolithiasis and more variably in other conditions (e.g. biliary tract infection and submassive hepatic necrosis), may be associated with hypersecretion of seromucinous substances. Hyperplasia of peribiliary glands may then lead to mucin-related biliary diseases. In addition, these glands, particularly the hyperplastic ones, could be a precursor of cholangiocarcinoma. The pathological spectrum of the intrahepatic peribiliary glands is being expanded, although a clinical pathological correlation remains uncharted. Furthermore, age-related variations and non-specific reactive changes of these glands remain unexplored.