- 1Unit of Pathology, AOU Cagliari, Department of Medical Sciences and Public Health, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Objective: Wilson's Disease (WD) is an autosomal recessive copper overload. Several mutations of the copper pump named ATP7B have been involved. WD is difficult to diagnose mainly because of its heterogeneity of presentation. The histologic spectrum is wide and not specific, ranging from very mild changes to severe disease. The histological picture of WD may overlap different conditions, including ALD, NAFLD, viral hepatitis or autoimmune liver disease.
Patients and methods: We describe our experience on WD based on a single-center series of liver biopsies. One-hundred twenty-seven liver samples from 43 Sardinian WD patients were reviewed. The most reported pattern was steatohepatitis, accounting 82/127 biopsies (64.6%), followed by hepatitis in 25 biopsies (19.7%), and steatosis in 20 biopsies (15.7%).
Results: As for the elementary lesions, inflammation, steatosis, glycogenated nuclei and ballooning were the most frequent, being found in 107, 102, 90 and 86 biopsies out of the 127. Notably, all these lesions showed a predominant periportal location. There was no significant difference in the diagnostic pattern or in each elementary lesion between the biopsies performed at presentation and those performed during the follow-up. Lipogranuloma (significantly more numerous in the follow-up biopsies) and fibrosis (likewise significantly progressed in follow-up biopsies) were the only exceptions.
Conclusions: Our data confirm the variability of the histological pattern in WD. However, the preferential localization of steatosis and balloon cells in periportal zone can be a useful clue for the diagnosis of WD.