Detection of hepatitis B virus DNA in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded liver tissue by the polymerase chain reaction

Pietro Lampertico, James S. Malter, Massimo Colombo, Michael A. Gerber

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35 Scopus citations


DNA isolated from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded liver tissues from nine patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and six control patients was screened for hepatitis B virus (HRV) DNA with surface (S) and core (C) gene-specific primers by a modification of the polymerase chain reaction-southern blot technique (PCR-SB). PCR-SB results were correlated with histologic, immunohistochemical, and serologic findings. All cases with an established HBV etiology were positive by PCR SB, as were three cases with negative immunohistochemistry and serology. Often there was selective amplification with one primer set and, in two cases, smaller than expected HBV amplification products suggesting internal deletions. The presence of a potent PCR inhibitor in nucleic acid preparations from tissue blocks that can be removed by Sephadex G- 50 chromatography was confirmed. PCR-SB will be a powerful method for the diagnosis and follow-up of patients with HBV infection and may provide new insights into viral hepatocarcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-258
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1990


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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