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Alcohol Alcohol Suppl. 1993;1B:109-14.

Studies on the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma in heavy drinkers with liver cirrhosis.

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Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, St. Marianna University, Yokohama City, Japan.


The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in heavy drinkers who drank more than 130 g per day for more than 10 years, and non-drinkers with cirrhosis who were positive or negative hepatitis C virus (HCV) markers, was analyzed in order to evaluate the effect of a large amount of alcohol on the development of HCC. A parallel study was also conducted in some patients from the aspect of HCV genotypes. Among 57 heavy drinkers with liver cirrhosis, HCV marker was positive in 36 patients (C+Al group) and negative in 21 patients (Al-alone group). Eighty-one patients with liver cirrhosis of non-drinkers were positive for HCV markers (C-alone group). HCV infection was involved in 63% of heavy drinkers with cirrhosis and 44% of patients with HCC. The majority of HCC patients in the C+Al group was infected with HCV through routes other than blood transfusion. HCC developed at a younger age in patients of the C+Al group than in patients of the C-alone group without relation to history of blood transfusion. In more than a third of patients who had tattoos or used stimulants in the C+Al group, HCC developed without a history of blood transfusion. These results suggest that heavy drinking enhances the development of HCC. The HCV genotypes in patients with HCC were all type II, except for one case of type III and one unclassified. The mixed type of HCV was often found in patients who had a blood transfusion or tattoo, suggesting that there may be some correlation between the routes of HCV infection and the diversity of genotypes.

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