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World J Gastroenterol. 2008 May 21;14(19):3059-63.

A case-control study of the relationship between hepatitis B virus DNA level and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in Qidong, China.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China.



To investigate the role of hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a nested case-control study was performed to study the relationship between HBV DNA level and risk of HCC.


One hundred and seventy cases of HCC and 276 control subjects free of HCC and cirrhosis were selected for this study. Serum HBV DNA level was measured using fluorescein quantitative polymerase chain reaction at study entry and the last visit.


In a binary unconditional logistic regression analysis adjusted for age, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption and family history of chronic liver diseases, the adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) of HCC in patients with increasing HBV DNA level were 2.834 (1.237-6.492), 48.403 (14.392-162.789), 42.252 (14.784-120.750), and 14.819 (6.992-31.411) for HBV DNA levels > or = 10(4) to < 10(5); > or = 10(5) to < 10(6); > or = 10(6) to < 10(7); > or = 10(7) copies/mL, respectively. Forty-six HCC cases were selected to compare the serums viral loads of HBV DNA at study entry with those at the last visit. The HBV DNA levels measured at the two time points did not differ significantly.


The findings of this study provide strong longitudinal evidence of an increased risk of HCC associated with persistent elevation of serum HBV DNA level in the 10(4)-10(7) range.

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