Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a major cause of cancer worldwide. Proteomic studies provide opportunities to uncover targets for the diagnosis and treatment of this disease. However, in HCC developing in a setting of cirrhosis, the detection of proteome alterations may be hampered by the increased cellular heterogeneity of tissue when analysing global liver homogenates. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the identification of proteome alterations in these HCC cases was improved when the differential protein profile between tumour and non-tumour areas of liver was determined using hepatocytes isolated by laser microdissection (LM). Differential profiles established with LM-hepatocytes and liver section homogenates using 2-DE and MS exhibited noticeable differences: 30% of the protein spots with deregulated expression in tumorous LM-samples did not display any modification in homogenates; conversely 15% of proteins altered in tumorous homogenates were not impaired in LM-hepatocytes. These alterations resulted from the presence in cirrhotic liver of fibrotic stroma. which displayed a protein pattern different from that determined in LM-hepatocytes. In conclusion, our data demonstrate the interest of LM in distinguishing between fibrotic and hepatocyte proteome alterations and thus the benefit of LM to proteome studies of HCC developing in a context of cirrhosis.