Mallory body

Micrograph showing a Mallory body with the characteristic twisted-rope appearance (centre of image - within a ballooning hepatocyte). H&E stain.

In histopathology, a Mallory body, Mallory-Denk body, and Mallory's hyaline, is an inclusion found in the cytoplasm of liver cells.[1] Mallory bodies are damaged intermediate filaments within the hepatocytes.

Associated conditions

Mallory bodies are classically found in the livers of people suffering from alcoholic liver disease and were once thought to be specific for that.[2]

They are most common in alcoholic hepatitis (prevalence of 65%) and alcoholic cirrhosis (prevalence of 51%).[3]

They are a recognized feature of Wilson's disease (25%), primary biliary cirrhosis (24%), non-alcoholic cirrhosis (24%), hepatocellular carcinoma (23%) and morbid obesity (8%), among other conditions.[3] However, it has also been reported in certain other unrelated conditions.[4]


Mallory bodies are highly eosinophilic and thus appear pink on H&E stain. The bodies themselves are made up of intermediate cytokeratin 8/18 filament proteins that have been ubiquinated, or bound by other proteins such as heat shock proteins, or p62.


It is named for the American pathologist Frank Burr Mallory, who first described the structures in 1911.[3] They were renamed as Mallory-Denk bodies in 2007 to honor the contribution of Austrian pathologist Helmut Denk for the molecular analysis of the pathogenesis of MDBs.

See also

Additional images


  1. "Cell Injury".
  2. Denk, H; Franke, WW; Eckerstorfer, R; Schmid, E; Kerjaschki, D (August 1979). "Formation and involution of Mallory bodies ("alcoholic hyalin") in murine and human liver revealed by immunofluorescence microscopy with antibodies to prekeratin." (PDF). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 76 (8): 4112–6. doi:10.1073/pnas.76.8.4112. PMC 383988Freely accessible. PMID 386356.
  3. 1 2 3 Jensen, K; Gluud, C (Oct 1994). "The Mallory body: morphological, clinical and experimental studies (Part 1 of a literature survey).". Hepatology. 20 (4 Pt 1): 1061–77. doi:10.1002/hep.1840200440. PMID 7927209.
  4. Michel, RP; Limacher, JJ; Kimoff, RJ (January 1982). "Mallory bodies in scar adenocarcinoma of the lung.". Human pathology. 13 (1): 81–5. doi:10.1016/S0046-8177(82)80143-3. PMID 6176520.
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