Among 7763 autopsies performed in Greater Copenhagen in 1973, there were 309 cases of cirrhosis of the liver and 52 cases of primary carcinoma of the liver (PCL). Of the latter, 45 were hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), 4 combined HCC and cholangiocarcinoma (CCC) and 3 CCC. HCC was found in 7.8 per cent of the cirrhotic livers and was in 57.1 per cent accompagnied by cirrhosis. The criteria of WHO, Peters (modified) and Anthony were used for classification. The degree of differentiation of the tumours was estimated using the criteria of WHO and Edmondson. The apparently small number of CCC may be due to the fact that this tumour is often overdiagnosed at the expense of HCC. The incidence of combined tumours is probably higher than generally assumed. The reticulin stain was found very valuable in HCC, both for descriptive and diagnostic purposes. In contrast to the situation in sub-Saharan Africa where hepatitis B virus is incriminated as the most important etiologic factor of HCC, it was found in the present study that alcoholism was a very essential cause of cirrhosis and thereby of HCC.