, Volume 7, Issue 10, pp 764-770

Comparison of Surgical Outcomes for Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Patients With Hepatitis B Versus Hepatitis C: A Western Experience

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Abstract

Background: We reviewed our experience in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and chronic hepatitis to determine if differences exist in preoperative status and postoperative survival between those with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections.

Methods: We reviewed the records of 240 consecutive patients with HCC who underwent hepatic resection or liver transplantation at Mount Sinai Hospital between February 1990 and February 1998. Patients who tested negative for hepatitis B antigen and hepatitis C antibody (74 patients) as well as those who tested positive for both (2 patients) were excluded. Age as well as preoperative platelet count, prothrombin time (PT), albumin, and total bilirubin were measured in all patients. The presence of encephalopathy or ascites also was noted. Explanted livers and resection specimens were examined for size, number, and differentiation of tumors as well as the presence of vascular invasion and cirrhosis in the surrounding parenchyma.

Results: One hundred twenty-one patients with HCC tested positive for HCV, and 43 tested positive for HBV. A significantly higher proportion of patients with HCV required transplant for the treatment of their HCC when compared to those with HBV. In the resection group, patients with HCV were significantly older that those with HBV. They also had significantly lower mean preoperative platelet counts and albumin levels and higher mean PT and total bilirubin levels. Resected patients with HCV had significantly less-differentiated tumors and a higher incidence of vascular invasion and cirrhosis when compared to those with HBV. There was no statistical difference in the multicentricity and size of tumors between the two groups. The 5-year disease-free survival was significantly higher for HBV patients treated with resection when compared to those with HCV (49% vs. 7%, P 5 .0480). Patients with HCC and HCV had significantly longer 5-year disease-free survival with transplant when compared to resection (48% vs. 7%, P 5 .0001).Transplanted patients with HBV and HCC had preoperative status, pathological findings, and survival similar to those of patients with HCV.

Conclusions: Based on preoperative liver function and tumor location, a much higher proportion of HCC patients with HBV were candidates for resection. Significant differences in preoperative status, tumor characteristics and disease-free survival exist between HCC patients with chronic HBV and HCV infection who have not yet reached end-stage liver disease. Serious consideration should be given to transplanting resectable HCC with concomitant HCV, especially in cases with small tumors.

Presented at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Society of Surgical Oncology, Orlando, Florida, March 4–7, 1999.