Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005 Jun;20(6):873-81.

Survival in hepatocellular carcinoma: impact of screening and etiology of liver disease.

Author information

  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Alfred Hospital, Commercial Road, Prahran, Victoria 3181, Australia.



As the merits of screening at-risk populations for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remain unclear, we compared the clinico-pathologic features and survival of patients with cirrhosis and HCC detected by screening (Group A) to that in non-screened cases (Group B).


We studied cirrhotics who developed HCC between 1994 and 2002. During this period, cirrhotics managed by the Gastroenterology Unit were regularly screened at 6-12 monthly intervals while those managed by other hospital units were not. Demographic data, tumor details, treatment received and survival were recorded and compared according to screening status.


There were 96 cases identified; 41 by screening (group A) and 55 by non-screening methods (Group B). HCC in Group A were smaller (P < 0.01), more likely unilobar (P < 0.01), at an early stage (P < 0.0005) and before vascular invasion (P < 0.005) than Group B cases. The frequency of hepatic surgery and/or local ablation was higher in Group A than Group B (P = 0.001). Overall median survival of Group A was 882 days versus 99 days in Group B (P < 0.0001). One- and 3-year probabilities of survival in Group A were 89% and 38%, versus 33% and 19% in Group B (P < 0.001). Independent predictors of survival included screening, Child-Pugh score, creatinine, tumor stage and absence of alcohol as the etiology.


Screening for HCC in cirrhosis identifies tumors at an earlier stage, results in a higher chance of receiving curative treatment and possibly improves patient survival. The absence of alcoholic liver disease impacts favorably on survival.

(c) 2005 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk