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Clinicopathologic characteristics and outcomes of hepatocellular carcinoma associated with chronic hepatitis B versus hepatitis C infection

Abdulrahman A. Aljumah,a Hadi Kuriry,b Nabiha Faisal,a Hamdan Alghamdia

From the aHepatology Division, Department of Hepatobiliary Sciences and Organ Transplant Center, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; bDepartment of Medicine, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 

How to cite this article:

Aljumah AA. Kuriry H, Faisal N, Alghamdi H. Clinicopathologic characteristics and outcomes of hepatocellular carcinoma associated with chronic hepatitis B versus hepatitis C infection. Ann Saudi Med 2018; 38(5): 358-365. 


BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a primary liver malignancy and one of the most common cancers worldwide. Few studies in Saudi Arabia have compared the clinicopathologic characteristics of HCC caused by hepatitis B virus (HBV) versus hepatitis C virus (HCV) and their effect on patient survival and prognosis. 


OBJECTIVES: Identify differences in clinicopathological characteristics and outcomes of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) caused by HBV versus HCV. 


DESIGN: A retrospective medical records review.


SETTING: Tertiary medical center in Riyadh.


PATIENTS AND METHODS: We included all new cases of HCC with underlying HBV and HCV infection diagnosed between January 2013 and September 2017 that met inclusion criteria. 


MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Clinical, biochemical, pathological and radiological characteristics, and survival differences were compared between HCC that developed in HBV- and HCV-infected patients.


SAMPLE SIZE: Of 253 patients evaluated, 172 patients were included in the study. 


RESULTS: Of the 172 patients, 110 (64%) had HCV-associated HCC and 62 (36%) had HBV-associated HCC. More patients with HBV infection were males (P=.003) and were younger (P=.015) than HCV patients. HCV-infected patients who developed HCC had more advanced cirrhosis (P=.048). The prevalence of comorbidities and pre-existing cir.rhosis was similar in both groups. Seven patients (6.8%) with underlying HCV developed HCC in the absence of cirrhosis. Patients with HBV-associated HCC were less likely to meet Milan criteria at initial diagnosis than those with HCV-associated HCC (33.9% vs. 52.7%, respectively, P=.017). HBV-associated HCC occurred at a more advanced Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer stage. The overall median survival and treatment outcome for each modality was comparable. 


CONCLUSIONS: HBV- and HCV-associated HCC have distinct clinical and pathological characteristics, necessitating different screening policies to optimize HCC surveillance and management. However, viral etiology did not affect the treatment outcome and long-term survival.


LIMITATIONS: Conducted in a single-center, retrospective and lacks information about the use of antiviral treatment.





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