Liver biopsies from 29 siblings of patients with Indian childhood cirrhosis (ICC) and from two age-matched controls were examined by routine light and transmission electron microscopy. Histochemical stainings for copper and copper-binding protein were also carried out. The mild and non-specific structural alterations that were observed did not differ from those seen in control livers, even though a slight to moderate excess of copper and copper-binding protein was demonstrated in the majority. Aggregates of microtubules seen in some siblings, as well as in control livers, may indicate the preconditions for development of Mallory hyaline. It is possible that these features suggest a susceptibility for the development of ICC but not early disease.
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