Thus, the CoH/ductular unit, with somewhat variable anatomy (Fig. 4A) begins in the periportal parenchymal region as the first twig of the biliary tree, crosses the limiting plate, becoming a somewhat larger interlobular bile duct. The numbers, lengths, and shapes of the CoH/ductule units depend on the source and hence normalcy of the specimens and on the application of immunohistological markers, e.g., keratin 7 (K7), K19, or epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM).1, 5,6,7 Without
immunostaining, there is an average of 0.4 ductules per portal tract (range 0-4) in normal human liver,8 whereas median values of 2.5-5 ductules per portal tract were observed after application of the K7 immunostain.9,10 Historically, human DRs have been grouped on the basis of morphology selleck selleck chemical into “typical” and “atypical”, terms originally applied in and based on rodent studies.11 This terminology is discouraged, because a classification of DRs based on a quite limited set of experimental
conditions in rodents cannot readily accommodate the range of patterns seen clinically; DRs are diverse, covering a spectrum of features rather than clear subphenotypes, which will now be described (Fig. 1). DR morphologies may range from well-formed ductules with recognizable lumina to irregular counterparts without obvious lumina, sometimes merely consisting of MCE a string of cells. Variable phenotypes between both ends of this spectrum can be present concomitantly in a single specimen, depending on the etiology and evolution of the disease. Even greater complexity emerges when there are concomitant disease processes such as primary sclerosing
cholangitis (PSC) with both obstructive and regenerative DRs.12 Classification schemes suggested by Desmet12 and Turanyi et al.13 have attempted to integrate the histologic features, inciting disease, and/or immunophenotyping of DR, but these have not been subjected to a consensus-building process of review and are not (yet) recommended for DR subclassification. Biliary obstruction produces the most well-known example of DR, featuring a multiplication of small ductules at the periphery of edematous portal stroma. The ductules show variable nuclear size and contain no bile. Obstructive-type DRs may be extraordinarily prominent, seemingly replacing parenchyma with markedly expanded portal tracts, but these can rapidly resolve. When bile concretions are present in dilated ductular lumina (“cholangitis lenta” or ductular cholestasis) a superimposed septicemia should be considered, either from cholangitis or a distant source.