We received the clinical records and pathologic material of 20 patients with biopsy proven hepatic focal nodular hyperplasia. The majority of the patients were females of child bearing age, five of whom had a history of oral use of contraceptives. In every instance focal nodular hyperplasia was an incidental finding; liver function tests were always normal. Focal nodular hyperplasia is a distinct histopathologic entity, distinguishable from liver cell adenoma. Specifically it consists of nodular aggregates of cytologically normal hepatocytes with foci of intranodular bile duct proliferation. Focal nodular hyperplasia appears to be a benign entity, even in patients in whom the lesion was not excised. The association between focal nodular hyperplasia and oral use of contraceptives may be coincidental, although hormonally related vascular changes may be responsible for rupture of the lesion.

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