Origin of adenocarcinoma in a transplanted liver determined by microsatellite analysis

Sanjay Kakar, Lawrence J. Burgart, Michael R. Charlton, Yuri Saito, Kevin Halling, Stephen N. Thibodeau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Inadvertent transmission of neoplastic cells from an organ donor can occur at the time of transplantation. Determination of recipient versus donor origin of a tumor is crucial for patient management. This report illustrates the use of microsatellite (MS) analysis to determine the origin of adenocarcinoma arising in a liver transplant. The study patient was a 42-year-old male who had received a liver transplant for hepatitis C and alcohol-related cirrhosis. At the 1-year follow-up visit, a 1.5-cm liver mass was identified during routine ultrasound of the vascular anastamoses. A liver biopsy showed a moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma. Tumor, donor, and recipient DNA were isolated from the paraffin-embedded liver biopsy, pretransplant donor liver biopsy, and the explant liver tissue, respectively. MS analysis was performed by polymerase chain reaction using 5 markers: D5S346, ACTC, D2S123, D18S34, and TP53. The allelic patterns of tumor DNA were identical to those of donor DNA and were distinct from the DNA profile of the recipient. The use of MS analysis clearly established that the adenocarcinoma was of donor origin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-436
Number of pages2
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002


  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Liver
  • Origin
  • Transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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