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J Hepatol. 2009 Jan;50(1):80-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2008.07.023. Epub 2008 Sep 21.

Independent risk factors and predictive score for the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in chronic hepatitis B.

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Department of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong.



To determine whether gender, age, hepatitis B virus genotype, core promoter and precore mutations, HBeAg/ anti-HBe status, HBV DNA, ALT levels and cirrhosis on presentation were independent risk factors and derive a novel risk score for the development of HCC.


CHB patients (820) were followed up (mean duration 76.8 months) for the occurrence of HCC.


The 5- and 10-year prevalence of HCC were 4.4% and 6.3%, respectively. Cox regression analysis showed that male gender (p = 0.025, RR 2.98), increasing age (p < 0.001, RR 1.07), higher HBV DNA levels (p = 0.02, RR 1.28), core promoter mutations (p = 0.007, RR 3.66), and presence of cirrhosis (p < 0.001, RR 7.31) were independent risks for the development of HCC. A risk score was derived and validated with sensitivity > 84% and specificity > 76% to predict the 5- and 10- year risks for the development of HCC. The AUC for the 5- and 10-year prediction were 0.88 and 0.89, respectively.


The risk score, based on age, gender, HBV DNA levels, core promoter mutations and cirrhosis, can estimate the chance of development of HCC in 5 and 10 years after presentation. It can be used to identify high-risk CHB patients for treatment and screening of HCC.

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