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J Hepatol. 2009 Nov;51(5):890-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2009.07.009. Epub 2009 Jul 23.

Risk factors for early and late recurrence in hepatitis B-related hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Department of Medical Research and Education, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Institute of Clinical Medicine, National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan.



Hepatitis B virus (HBV) levels correlate with the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but the role of viral load in HCC recurrence after tumor resection remains unclear. Herein we aimed to investigate the role of viral load in HCC recurrence following tumor resection.


From 1990 to 2002, 193 HBV-related HCC patients who underwent tumor resection in Taipei Veterans General Hospital were enrolled. Serum HBV DNA level and mutations were analyzed for association with early and late recurrence, together with other clinical variables.


During a follow-up of 58.2+/-44 months, 134 patients had HCC recurrence. Multivariate analysis showed that multinodularity (Hazard ratio [HR], 95% confidence interval [CI]; 2.232, 1.021-4.878), macroscopic venous invasion (4.693, 1.645-13.391), AFP >20 ng/ml (3.891, 1.795-8.475), and cut margin <or= 1cm (3.333, 1.487-7.470) were correlated with early recurrence (within two years of operation) of HCC. In addition, multivariate analysis determined that Ishak hepatic inflammatory activity >6 (4.658, 1.970-11.017), multinodularity (3.266, 1.417-7.526), ICG-15 >10% (2.487, 1.095-5.650) and HBV DNA level >10(6) copies/ml (2.548, 1.040-6.240) were significantly associated with late recurrence (>two years after resection). Patients with high viral loads tended to have higher Ishak inflammatory (7.00+/-3.07 vs. 5.33+/-2.96, p=0.001) and fibrosis scores (4.17+/-2.01 vs. 3.20+/-2.41, p=0.007) than those with lower loads.


Tumor factors were associated with early HCC recurrence while high viral loads and hepatic inflammatory activity were associated with late recurrence. Pre- and post-operative antiviral and anti-inflammatory therapies may be crucial in reducing late recurrence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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