Chronic viral hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma

Yagil Barazani, Jonathan R. Hiatt, Myron J. Tong, Ronald W. Busuttil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third leading cause of death from malignancy worldwide, and its increasing incidence parallels rising global rates of hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV). Methods: This retrospective review was undertaken to identify differences in the epidemiology and tumor characteristics of 255 patients with HCC due to chronic HBV (n = 105) or HCV (n = 150). Results: Hepatitis B patients were predominantly Asian (84%), whereas HCV patients were predominantly Caucasian (72%; p < 0.0001). Hepatitis B patients exhibited stronger family histories of liver disease (54%) and HCC (33%), whereas HCV risk factors included blood transfusion (56%), intravenous drug abuse (31%), and alcohol consumption (44%; p < 0.0001 for all comparisons). Pretreatment laboratory values showed lower albumin and platelet levels but higher bilirubin and AST levels in HCV versus HBV patients (p < 0.0001 to 0.01). As cirrhosis was present in nearly all HCV patients, but only in 79% of HBV patients, HCV patients had more stigmata of portal hypertension, including ascites (65%), varices (86%), splenomegaly (77%), and encephalopathy (41%; p < 0.0002 for all comparisons). Although tumors in HBV patients were larger (7.3 cm versus 5.1 cm; p = 0.0001) and more frequently bilobar, the tumor grade, number of tumors, and metastases were similar for both groups. Hepatitis C patients received less treatment, including chemoembolization and surgical resection. The 5-year survival was higher in HBV patients compared to HCV patients (56% versus 36%, p = 0.046). Conclusions: Patients with HBV- and HCV-related HCC have different epidemiologic, clinical, and survival characteristics. More HCV patients presented with advanced cirrhosis, received less aggressive treatment, and experienced lower 5-year survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1243-1248
Number of pages6
JournalWorld Journal of Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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