Hepatoid carcinoma

Topic Completed: 26 February 2021

Minor changes: 5 March 2021

Copyright: 2002-2021,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Hepatoid carcinoma[title]

Raul S. Gonzalez, M.D.
Page views in 2020: 1,165
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Cite this page: Gonzalez RS. Hepatoid carcinoma. website. Accessed October 28th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Rare, aggressive subtype of adenocarcinoma that morphologically resembles hepatocellular carcinoma and produces alpha fetoprotein
Essential features
  • Extremely rare subtype of colorectal carcinoma
  • Resembles hepatocellular carcinoma morphologically and sometimes immunohistochemically
  • Serum alpha fetoprotein may be elevated
  • Originally termed alpha fetoprotein producing tumor
  • More common in men
  • Fewer than 20 colonic cases reported
Clinical features
Case reports
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Resembles hepatocellular carcinoma, with trabecular or solid pattern of large polygonal cells with abundant eosinophilic or clear cytoplasm
  • Component of traditional adenocarcinoma also often present
  • Lymphovascular invasion is common (Histopathology 1997;31:47)
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Collision with liposarcoma

Associated with ulcerative colitis

Gastric tumor: H&E, AFP+ HepPar1- glypican3+

Sample pathology report
  • Sigmoid colon, resection:
    • Hepatoid carcinoma of the colon, moderately differentiated (see synoptic report)
Differential diagnosis
Board review style question #1
What serum marker is often elevated in patients with hepatoid colon carcinoma?

  1. Alpha fetoprotein
  2. CA125
  3. CA19-9
  4. HER2
Board review style answer #1
A. Alpha fetoprotein

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