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Dig Liver Dis. 2014 May;46(5):427-32. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2014.01.003. Epub 2014 Feb 16.

Progression to cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma and liver-related mortality in chronic hepatitis B patients in Italy.

Author information

1
Division of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata, Verona, Italy; Department of Surgery, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.
2
Institute of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.
3
Division of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata, Verona, Italy; Department of Medicine, University of Verona, Verona, Italy. Electronic address: giovanna.fattovich@univr.it.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The natural history of chronic hepatitis B is variable. We evaluated some of the risk factors for cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma and liver-related mortality in Italian patients with chronic hepatitis B.

METHODS:

A cohort of 105 untreated patients with chronic hepatitis B without cirrhosis at diagnosis was followed prospectively for a mean period of 23 years. Clinical, histological and ultrasound examinations, biochemical and virological tests, and causes of death were analyzed.

RESULTS:

Forty-two (40%) patients became inactive carriers and 63 (60%) showed persistent alanine aminotransferase elevation: 13 (13%) associated with HBeAg persistence, 35 (33%) with detectable serum HBV-DNA but HBeAg-negative, 11 (10%) with concurrent virus infection and 4 (4%) with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Cirrhosis incidence was 1.56/100 person-years. Older age and sustained HBV replication predicted cirrhosis occurrence independently. Hepatocellular carcinoma incidence was 2.1/100 person-years in patients who developed cirrhosis and 0.06 in those who did not. Cirrhosis occurrence was associated with an increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (hazard ratio 20.4, 95% confidence interval 2.54-167.5) and liver-related death (16.5, 2.0-138.8).

CONCLUSIONS:

In Italian patients with chronic hepatitis B cirrhosis strongly predicts hepatocellular carcinoma occurrence and disease-related mortality, thus indicating that early antiviral treatment should be instituted before cirrhosis occurrence.

KEYWORDS:

Chronic hepatitis B; Cirrhosis; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Liver-related mortality; Natural history

PMID:
24548819
DOI:
10.1016/j.dld.2014.01.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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