ABSTRACT— In order to search for some parameters that would make it possible to predict a potentially high risk of evolution from liver cirrhosis to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the DNA content of hepatocytes in patients with liver cirrhosis with or without development to HCC was investigated by means of microspectrophotometry in Feulgen-stained specimens. In patients without development of HCC in more than 5 years of follow-up, 90% or more of tested hepatocytes were diploid, whereas in patients with liver cirrhosis who developed HCC within 3 years the frequency histogram of nuclear DNA content was widely spread from diploid to hyperpolyploid with a small peak of triploid. Furthermore, in the latter group of patients, many of the binucleate cells had different DNA contents in each paired nucleus. In noncancerous portions of HCC, the ploidy histogram of nuclear DNA content was widely spread from diploid to polyploid with different DNA contents of each paired nucleus in binucleate cells, without the small peak of triploid. These results suggest that the deranged cell kinetics of hepatocytes in cirrhosis may be considered to be a state of potentially high risk for the evolution of HCC, and that a patient with liver cirrhosis with such an abnormal hepatocyte DNA content should be followed up carefully for the early diagnosis of HCC.