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Hepatitis C Virus Genotypes and Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Cirrhosis: A Prospective Study

Hepatology 1997 Mar;25(3):754-758

Bruno S, Silini E, Crosignani A, Borzio F, Leandro G, Bono F, Asti M, Rossi S, Larghi A, Cerino A, Podda M, Mondelli MU

Divisione di Medicina Generale III, Cattedra di Medicina Interna, Istituto di Scienze Biomediche San Paolo, Universita di Milano, Italy.

A prospective study was performed to establish whether infection with specific Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes was associated with an increased risk of development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in cirrhosis. A cohort of 163 consecutive Hepatitis C virus antibody (anti-HCV)-positive cirrhotic patients was prospectively evaluated for the development of HCC at 6-month intervals by ultrasound (US) scan and alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) concentration. HCV genotypes were determined according to Okamoto. Risk factors associated with cancer development were analyzed by univariate and multivariate statistics. At enrollment, 101 patients (62%) were infected with type 1b, 48 (29.5%) were infected with type 2a/c, 2 (1.2%) were infected with type 3a, 1 (0.6%) was infected with type 1a, 3 (1.8%) had a mixed-type infection, and, in 8 patients (4.9%), genotype could not be assigned. After a 5- to 7-year follow-up (median, 68 months), HCC developed in 22 of the patients, 19 infected with type 1b and 3 with type 2a/c (P less than.005). Moreover, HCC developed more frequently in males (P less than.01), patients with excessive alcohol intake (P less than .01), those over 60 years of age (P less than .02), and in patients who did not receive interferon treatment (P less than .02). Multivariate analysis showed that type 1b was the most important risk factor associated with tumor development (odds ratio 6.14, 1.77-21.37 95% confidence interval). Other independent risk factors were older age and male sex. Cirrhotic patients infected with HCV type 1b carry a significantly higher risk of developing HCC than patients infected by other HCV types. The latter may require a less intensive clinical surveillance for the early detection ofneoplasia.


  • Comment in: Hepatology 1997 Mar;25(3):772-4
  • Comment in: Hepatology 1997 Oct;26(4):1077

PMID: 9049231, UI: 97201445