Percutaneous liver biopsies with fine aspirating and cutting needles were performed under ultrasound guidance to diagnose hepatocellular carcinoma in 112 cases. All the specimens were examined partially with cytologic methods and partially with microhistology. Cytology established the diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma in 83 cases and of generic malignancy in 12, with 9 false-negatives and 8 inadequates. Microhistology established the diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma in 92 case and of generic malignancy in 2, with 3 false-negatives and 15 inadequates. In all, the combined retrieval rate was 98% with only 2 cases of inadequate material and the diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma was possible in 105 cases (93.7%).