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J Med Virol. 2002 Aug;67(4):501-9.

High TT virus load as an independent factor associated with the occurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma among patients with hepatitis C virus-related chronic liver disease.

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Department of Gastroenterology, National Tokyo Hospital, Japan.


The TT virus (TTV) load was estimated in sera obtained from 237 patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related chronic liver disease including 42 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), by real-time detection PCR using primers and a probe derived from the well-conserved untranslated region of the TTV genome, which can detect all known TTV genotypes. Of the 237 patients studied, 18 (8%) were negative for TTV DNA, 87 (37%) had low TTV viremia (1.3 x 10(2)-9.9 x 10(3) copies/ml), and 132 (56%) had high TTV viremia (1.0 x 10(4)-2.1 x 10(6) copies/ml). Various features were compared between the patients with high TTV load (n = 132) and those with no TTV viremia or low viral load (n = 105). High TTV viremia (> or =10(4) copies/ml) was significantly associated with higher age (P < 0.05), past history of blood transfusion (P < 0.001), complication of cirrhosis (P < 0.05) or HCC (P < 0.0005), lower HCV RNA titer (P < 0.05), and lower platelet count (P < 0.01). On multivariate logistic regression analysis, high TTV viral load was a significant risk factor for HCC (P < 0.05), independent from known risk factors such as complication of liver cirrhosis (P < 0.0001) and high age (> or =65 years, P < 0.05), among all 237 patients. Furthermore, high TTV viral load was an independent risk factor for HCC among the 90 cirrhotic patients (P < 0.05). These results suggest that a high TTV viral load is associated independently with the complication of HCC and may have prognostic significance in patients with HCV-related chronic liver disease, although whether high TTV viremia mediates the progression of HCV-related chronic liver disease remains to be defined.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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