Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Scand J Gastroenterol. 2009;44(8):975-83. doi: 10.1080/00365520802588125.

Development of hepatocellular carcinoma in elderly patients with chronic hepatitis C with or without elevated aspartate and alanine aminotransferase levels.

Author information

  • 1Research Institute for Hepatology, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.



Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the elderly infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is expected to increase globally within the next two decades. The purpose of the study was to define the natural history of elderly patients with chronic hepatitis C needs in order to prevent HCC from arising in these patients.


Treatment-naive patients aged >or=65 years with platelet counts >120 x 10(3)/mm(3) were classified as 120 with aspartate and alanine aminotransferase (ASAT and ALAT) levels <or=40 IU/l (group A) and 212 with either or both levels >or=41 (group B) and followed-up for 3 years or longer without antiviral treatment.


Cirrhosis and HCC developed more frequently in group B than in group A (p<0.001 for both). In particular, of the patients aged 65-69 years at entry, cirrhosis and HCC developed more frequently in group B than in group A (p<0.001 and p=0.001, respectively). Liver-related causes of death were more common in group B than in group A (20/34 (59%) versus 1/9 (11%), p=0.021). HCC developed more frequently in men than in women (p=0.033).


In elderly patients with chronic hepatitis C, cirrhosis and HCC develop more frequently in those with elevated transaminase levels than in those without elevated transaminase levels. Therefore, transaminase levels need to be suppressed below <or=40 IU/l, using antiviral treatments or other agents, in order to prevent cirrhosis and HCC arising in these patients. In view of rare liver-related deaths, aggressive antiviral treatment would not be necessary in the elderly with chronic hepatitis C who have normal transaminase levels.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Taylor & Francis
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk