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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2006 Aug;100(8):767-74. Epub 2006 Jan 26.

Hepatitis C virus genotypes in southern Taiwan: prevalence and clinical implications.

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  • 1Division of Hepatogastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, 123 Ta Pei Road, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.


The role of hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is still controversial. To determine the distribution and clinical implications of HCV genotypes in southern Taiwan, we analysed 418 patients with chronic HCV infections. HCV genotypes were determined using an HCV Line Probe Assay. The predominant HCV genotype was 1b (45.5%), followed by 2a/2c (30.9%) and 2b (6.9%). The prevalence of genotype 1b in HCC patients (60.3%) was significantly higher than in those with liver cirrhosis (38.7%) and chronic hepatitis (38.7%) (P=0.003 and P<0.001, respectively). Patients with chronic HCV 2a/2c infection had higher alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels than those with chronic HCV 1b infection (P<0.001). Univariate analysis revealed that disease severity was significantly correlated with older age, genotype 1b, lower ALT levels and lower viral load. Based on multiple logistic regression analysis, after adjusting for age and serum HCV RNA levels, HCV 1b infection was still a significant risk factor for HCC. In conclusion, the predominant genotypes in southern Taiwan were 1b and 2a/2c, and disease severity was associated with genotype 1b.

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