Clinicopathological aspects of liver diseases associated with early history of tattooing

Tokai J Exp Clin Med. 1988 Dec;13(4-5):191-218.


No matter whether it is the B type or non-A, non-B type, chronic infection with the hepatitis virus often causes chronic hepatitis, which may ultimately lead to cirrhosis and even hepatocellular carcinoma. From an epidemiological point of view, it was considered that tattooing might be an important mode of transmission of hepatitis virus through tattoo needles even at the time when hepatitis-B-virus related antigens and antibodies were not yet utilized as clinical markers in practice. Since HBV related antigens and antibodies in serum came into routine use as clinical markers, several articles on the outbreak of hepatitis B from tattooing have appeared in consideration of the correlation between the appearance and disappearance of the clinical markers and the clinical course of liver diseases. Nevertheless, a perusal of the literature to date failed to reveal any mention of clinical, pathological and prognostic aspects of liver disease with tattooing. These aspects are certainly ready for clarification. On the basis of clinicopathological observations of 26 patients with tattooing and liver diseases, it can be concluded that tattooing might be an important route of infection for hepatitis viruses including both the B type and non-A, non-B type, which can lead to chronic inflammatory liver diseases.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / etiology
  • Child
  • Fatty Acids
  • Hepatitis / etiology*
  • Hepatitis C / etiology
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / etiology
  • Liver Diseases / etiology
  • Liver Neoplasms / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tattooing / adverse effects*


  • Fatty Acids