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Hepatol Res. 2005 Jul;32(3):173-84. Epub 2005 Jul 18.

Efficacy of lamivudine for preventing hepatocellular carcinoma in chronic hepatitis B: A multicenter retrospective study of 2795 patients.

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1
Department of Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Shinshu University School of Medicine, 3-1-1 Asahi, Matsumoto, Nagano-ken 390-8621, Japan.

Abstract

A retrospective survey of Japanese patients histologically diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B was conducted to determine the effectiveness of lamivudine in preventing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Of the 2795 patients who satisfied criteria for analysis after treatment from any of 30 medical institutions, 657 had received lamivudine and the remaining 2138 had not. A Cox regression model with liver biopsy as the starting point revealed seven factors related to HCC: lamivudine therapy, gender, family clustering of hepatitis B, age at liver biopsy, hepatic fibrosis stage, serum albumin level, and platelet count. In a matched case-controlled study, 377 patients in a lamivudine-treated group and 377 matched patients in a non-treated group were selected based on their propensity scores. The mean follow-up period was 2.7 years in the lamivudine group and 5.3 years in the control group. In the lamivudine group, HCC occurred in four patients (1.1%) with an annual incidence rate of 0.4%/(patient/year), whereas in the control group HCC occurred in 50 patients (13.3%) for a rate of 2.5%/(patient/year). A comparison of the cumulative HCC incidence between the two groups by the Kaplan-Meier method showed a significantly lower incidence of HCC in the lamivudine group (p<0.001). These findings suggest that lamivudine effectively reduces the incidence of HCC in patients with chronic hepatitis B.

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