Ballooning hepatocyte

October 1, 2023

ballooning hepatocyte

Hepatocytes are specialized cells that make up most of the liver. A ballooning hepatocyte is a term pathologists use to describe a damaged or dying hepatocyte. They are called ‘ballooning’ because the hepatocyte swells to several times its normal size and the body of the cell becomes clear. Ballooning hepatocytes can be found in any condition that causes inflammation of the liver.

Common examples of conditions associated with ballooning hepatocytes include:

  • Steatohepatitis: This is a condition where fat accumulates in the liver and causes inflammation and damage. It can be caused by alcohol abuse (alcoholic steatohepatitis) or other factors such as obesity, diabetes, or high cholesterol (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.
  • Viral hepatitis: This is an infection of the liver caused by different types of viruses, such as hepatitis A, B, C, D, or E. These viruses can cause inflammation and damage to the liver cells and lead to ballooning hepatocytes.
  • Drug-induced liver injury: This is a condition where certain medications or substances can cause harmful effects on the liver and lead to inflammation and damage. Some examples of drugs that can cause this are acetaminophen, antibiotics, anticonvulsants, herbal supplements, and statins.

About this article

Doctors wrote this article to help you read and understand your pathology report. Contact us with any questions about this article or your pathology report. Read this article for a more general introduction to the parts of a typical pathology report.

Other helpful resources

Atlas of Pathology
A+ A A-