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Hepatogastroenterology. 1984 Apr;31(2):64-8.

Clinicopathological features of hepatocellular carcinoma--comparison of hepatitis B seropositive and seronegative patients.


Clinicopathological features were studied in 113 non-alcoholic patients with histology-proven hepatocellular carcinoma, of whom 35 were positive for hepatis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg), 23 were negative for all seromarkers for hepatitis B virus, and 55 were negative for HBsAg, but positive for anti-HBs and/or anti-core antibody (anti-HBc) with low titers. It was found that the age of the patient at the time of diagnosis was significantly lower in HBsAg cases than in the other two groups. Serum alpha-fetoprotein levels were often normal or below 100 ng/ml in the seronegative cases, and its measurement less frequently served as a diagnostic clue. Otherwise, clinically there was no difference between the three groups except for more frequent liver disease within the second degree of kinship in the HBsAg patients. Histopathological study of the livers showed that there were more expanding type hepatocellular carcinomas in the seronegative cases as compared with the HBsAg positive cases. There was no autoimmune chronic liver disease in these patients. These observations and data seem to indicate that there are certain differences between HBsAg positive and seronegative hepatocellular carcinomas. Since most patients had progressive liver disease, it is likely that many of these seronegative cases had chronic non-A, non-B viral disease, which is very common in Japan. It may be inferred further that non-A, non-B hepatitis virus is less carcinogenic as compared with hepatitis B virus.

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