Fatty Liver Disease and Hepatocellular Carcinoma: The Pathologist's View

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2018;1032:55-69. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-98788-0_4.


Chronic alcohol misuse and progressed nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) due to the metabolic syndrome and resulting to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are prime causes of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in Western industrialized countries. The incidence of HCC in NASH-cirrhosis is lower than that of HCC occuring in HCV-related or alcoholic cirrhosis. Up to 20% of cases of alcohol-associated HCC may develop in pre-cirrhotic liver while HCC is also increasingly recognised in pre-cirrhotic NASH raising questions on appropriate surveillance measures for these patient populations. The recently described steatohepatitic subtype of HCC presents with higher frequency in NAFLD compared to alcoholic liver disease (ALD) patients. This review will mainly focus on histopathology and summarize current data on the epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis and management of NAFLD- and ALD-related HCC.

Keywords: Alcoholic; Diagnosis; Fatty Liver Disease; Hepatocellular Carcinoma; Histopathology; Nonalcoholic; Pathogenesis; Steatohepatitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Liver Diseases, Alcoholic / pathology*
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / pathology*