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J Infect Dis. 2000 Jun;181(6):1920-8. Epub 2000 May 31.

Virologic analysis of non-B, non-C hepatocellular carcinoma in Japan: frequent involvement of hepatitis B virus.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, and Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Kawasaki, Japan.


Serum and liver tissues from hepatitis B surface antigen-negative/anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV)-negative (non-B, non-C) hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients in Japan were examined for the presence of hepatitis B virus (HBV), HCV, and TT virus (TTV) by polymerase chain reaction. The studies evaluated the contribution of these viruses to pathogenesis of HCC. HBV DNA was detected in the sera of 20 (47.6%) of 42 non-B, non-C HCC patients, which was significantly higher than in age-matched controls without liver disease (P<.001). In 8 of 12 patients with liver tissues available, HBV DNA was detected in cancerous and adjacent noncancerous liver tissues. No HCV RNA was detected. The positivity for TTV DNA was not significantly different between HCC patients and controls. These results indicate that HBV is associated with a substantial proportion of non-B, non-C HCC cases in Japan. The role of HBV in hepatocarcinogenesis in such patients needs to be clarified.

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