A case report of hepatocellular carcinoma and focal nodular hyperplasia with a myelolipoma in two chimpanzees and a review of spontaneous hepatobiliary tumors in non-human primates. Academic Article uri icon


  • Spontaneous hepatobiliary tumors in non-human primates are uncommon. Here we report a case of hepatic carcinoma and a case of hepatic focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH) and myelolipoma in two captive chimpanzees. A 16-year-old male chimpanzee (4X0392) died after an 8-month history of hepatic amyloidosis and low-grade anemia. Necropsy findings included a hepatic neoplasm with highly pleomorphic hepatocytes arranged into irregular thickened trabeculae. The diagnosis was high-grade hepatocellular carcinoma. A second male chimpanzee (4X0080), 23 years of age, died suddenly of heart failure secondary to cardiomyopathy. An incidental finding at necropsy was a liver mass characterized by multinodularity, prominent fibrous septa, and biliary hyperplasia. These features were consistent with FNH. While 4X0392 had no history of experimental viral exposure, 4X0080 was vaccinated with inactivated hepatitis B virus, an attenuated hepatitis A virus, and was experimentally infected with hepatitis C virus and human immunodeficiency virus. A survey of the literature revealed 68 reported cases of hepatobiliary tumors in non-human primates, including 12 hepatocellular adenomas, eight cholangiocellular adenomas/cystadenomas, 22 hepatocellular carcinomas, seven cholangiocarcinomas, and seven gallbladder adenocarcinomas. The majority of reported cases have been in prosimians and Old World monkeys. Hepatic neoplasia is rare in chimpanzees. Only four hepatic neoplasms have been reported in chimpanzees, three of which were associated with viral hepatitis. FNH has not been previously described in any non-human primate.

published proceedings

  • J Med Primatol

author list (cited authors)

  • Porter, B. F., Goens, S. D., Brasky, K. M., & Hubbard, G. B.

citation count

  • 33

complete list of authors

  • Porter, Brian F||Goens, S Denise||Brasky, Kathleen M||Hubbard, Gene B

publication date

  • February 2004