In the 7-year period between 1980 and 1987, six cases of childhood primary hepatocellular carcinoma (PHC) were confirmed histologically in our institution. Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) seropositivity was confirmed in five of the cases, and tissue HBsAg was shown in four of these using the Shikata's orcein stain. An associated maternal HBsAg seropositivity was shown in two of the seropositive children. The youngest seropositive patient who developed PHC was 7 years old. The mother of this patient was also seropositive. These observations support a causal relation between childhood Hepatitis B virus infection and PHC. The importance of vertical or perinatal transmission of HBV in the causation of childhood PHC and the prophylactic role of childhood vaccination is emphasized. Attention is also drawn to the relative short malignant transformation time seen in some of these patients.