Pediatric Hepatocellular Adenomas: The Influence of Age and Syndrome on Subtype

Am J Surg Pathol. 2021 Dec 1;45(12):1641-1647. doi: 10.1097/PAS.0000000000001763.


Hepatocellular adenomas are rare in children. A large study focused on pediatric patients has not been undertaken. A natural language search was performed at 5 institutions for hepatocellular adenomas in patients younger than 21 years old. Clinical characteristics as well as immunohistochemical staining profile was reviewed and adenomas subtyped per standard classification. Patients were divided into prepubescent and postpubescent age group. Thirty-one patients were included. Eleven (35%) were male and 10 (32%) were prepubescent. Fifteen (54%) of 28 patients with known clinical histories had adenomas associated with a syndrome. The percentage of the different adenoma subtypes was: 16% β-catenin activated, 10% combined inflammatory and β-catenin activated, 29% HFN1α-inactivated, 35% inflammatory, and 10% unclassified subtype by immunohistochemical staining. Interestingly 53% of patients with syndromes were male, while 85% of patients in the nonsyndromic group were female. The total number of β-catenin activated tumors was greater in the syndromic group (5/15, 33%) and prepubescent group (5/10, 50%) than in the nonsyndromic group (2/13, 16%) and postpubescent group (3/21, 14%), P=0.4 and 0.07, respectively. Inflammatory type adenoma was more frequent in the postpubescent (10/21, 48%) than in the prepubescent group (1/10, 10%), P=0.06, trending toward significance. Pediatric patients with hepatocellular adenomas frequently have syndromes, especially in the prepubescent group. In patients with syndromes a greater percentage of adenomas were β-catenin activated. In patients without a known syndrome the distribution of hepatocellular adenoma subtypes appears similar to adults.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma, Liver Cell / chemistry*
  • Adenoma, Liver Cell / pathology
  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Infant
  • Liver Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Phenotype
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Syndrome
  • United States
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers, Tumor