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PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e55441. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055441. Epub 2013 Mar 8.

Reduction in non-protein respiratory quotient is related to overall survival after hepatocellular carcinoma treatment.

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Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe, Japan.



Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) is an effective treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) that can occasionally lead to the shortening of life expectancy. We aimed to make a new and more accurate prognostic model taking into account the course of disease after TACE.


We performed a prospective cohort study involving 100 HCC patients who underwent TACE at Kobe University Hospital. Indirect calorimetry and blood biochemical examinations were performed before and 7 days after TACE. Time-dependent and time-fixed factors associated with 1-year mortality after TACE were assessed by multivariate analyses. A predictive model of 1-year mortality was established by the combination of odds ratios of these factors. Multivariate analyses showed that the ratio of non-protein respiratory quotient (npRQ) (7 days after/before TACE) and Cancer of Liver Italian Program (CLIP) score were independent factors of 1-year mortality after TACE (p = 0.014 and 0.013, respectively). Patient-specific 1-year mortality risk scores can be calculated by summarizing the individual risk scores and looking up the patient-specific risk on the graph.


The short-term reduction of npRQ was a time-dependent prognostic factor associated with overall survival in HCC patients undergoing TACE. CLIP score was a time-fixed prognostic factor associated with overall survival. Using the prediction model, which consists of the combination of time-dependent (npRQ ratio) and time-fixed (CLIP score) prognostic factors, 1-year mortality risk after TACE would be better estimated by taking into account changes during the course of disease.

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