7. HBs antigen positivism (Shikata orcein)

Page created on February 14, 2019. Last updated on February 17, 2019 at 12:30

Staining: Shikata orcein

Organ: Liver


The liver parenchyme in this slide has been divided into “pseudolobules”. These pseudolobules don’t correspond to the normal liver lobules and have wildly varying sizes. The pseudolobules are surrounded by scar tissue.

In two of the pseudolobules there are hepatocytes which are HBsAG positive. Their morphology is called “ground-glass hepatocytes”.

Diagnosis: HBs antigen positive chronic hepatitis with cirrhosis


  • Hepatitis B infection


Normal orcein stains elastic fibres while Shikata orcein stains the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) as well. This staining is not used in clinical practice as serology is preferred instead.

Because hepatocytes are HBsAg positive (ground- glass morphology) can we be certain that this chronic hepatitis was caused by Hep B infection.

The extensive pseudolobule formation with scar tissue surrounding them is characteristic for fully mature cirrhosis.

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2 thoughts on “7. HBs antigen positivism (Shikata orcein)”

  1. I believe HBsAg positivity shows that there is an active Hepatitis B infection and not chronic as you mentioned.

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