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Intern Med. 2012;51(18):2495-501. Epub 2012 Sep 15.

Severe inflammation in the background liver cirrhosis correlates with the development of poorly differentiated HCC in HCV-associated liver cirrhosis.

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  • 1Tarao's Gastroenterological Clinic, Japan.



Whether severe inflammation in the background liver cirrhosis might correlate with the development of poorly differentiated human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) was studied in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-associated liver cirrhosis.


Out of 214 HCC patients who underwent curative hepatic resection, 148 patients were HCV-associated liver cirrhosis (LC) patients. Out of these 148, 31 patients with small solitary HCC nodule (diameter ≤ 3 cm) were included in this study. Inflammation in the background LC was evaluated by modified histology activity index (HAI). To evaluate the inflammation, piece meal necrosis, intra lobular cellular degeneration and focal necrosis, portal cellular inflammation (each 0-4) were estimated. In each case, the average HAI was calculated. The grade of malignancy of HCC was determined by World Health Organization (WHO) classification.


The average HAI score in the cirrhotic portion in 17 patients with poorly differentiated HCC (5.21 ± 1.15, mean ± standard deviation (SD)) was significantly larger than that in 14 patients without poorly differentiated HCC (4.05 ± 0.83, p<0.005). The occurrence rate of HCC containing poorly differentiated HCC component in the patients whose HAI was more than 5.0 was 80.0% (12 out of 15), and was significantly higher compared with those in patients whose HAI was less than 5.0 (5 out of 16, 31.3%, p<0.025). In univariate and multivariate analyses for contribution to poorly differentiated HCC development, HAI was the only significant contributor (p=0.011, p=0.012 respectively).


It is suggested that severe inflammation in the background cirrhosis accelerates the promotion in the HCC development from HCV-associated LC.

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