Hep par 1 antibody stain for the differential diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma: 676 tumors tested using tissue microarrays and conventional tissue sections

Mod Pathol. 2003 Feb;16(2):137-44. doi: 10.1097/01.MP.0000052103.13730.20.


A well-characterized positive marker for hepatocellular differentiation would be a useful tool for the diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The recently commercially available Hep Par 1 antibody (clone OCH1E5.2.10) has been reported to be a sensitive marker for HCC in paraffin embedded sections. Of non-hepatocellular tumors, occasional carcinomas have been reported to stain, most frequently gastric adenocarcinomas. This study further evaluated the staining of this antibody on a large number of neoplasms using tissue microarray technology as well as conventional tissue sections. Six hundred seventy-six tumors, including 19 cases of HCC, were tested. Eighteen of 19 cases of HCC were positive, 3 showing <5% staining. Two cases negative on the array showed focal staining when whole tissue sections from the same tumors were used. 16 of 34 cases of gastric carcinomas gave positive reactions, 4 of these showed less than 5% staining. Staining of gastric carcinomas was not limited to signet ring-type carcinomas or to areas of hepatoid differentiation. Only 1 of 11 cases of cholangiocarcinoma showed focal staining. We also noted several other tumors to stain occasionally, including adrenal cortical carcinoma (3/13), yolk sac tumor (2/9), colonic adenocarcinoma (8/106), lung carcinoma (3/52), ovarian carcinoma (5/48), and endocervical adenocarcinoma (1/5). We did not observe staining in pancreatic carcinoma (11), renal cell carcinoma (36), breast carcinoma (85), melanoma (25), or mesothelioma (5). This study supports Hep Par 1 as a useful marker in the differential diagnosis of HCC, but with significant limitations. Cautious use of this antibody in a panel with other positive (alpha fetoprotein, CD10, polyclonal carcinoembryonic antigen) and negative (epithelial membrane antigen, monoclonal carcinoembryonic antigen, CD15) markers of hepatocellular differentiation may aid in the accurate diagnosis of HCC.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology*
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / immunology*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology*
  • Cross Reactions
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Biomarkers, Tumor