Single measurement of hemoglobin predicts outcome of HCC patients
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- Finkelmeier, F., Bettinger, D., Köberle, V. et al. Med Oncol (2014) 31: 806. doi:10.1007/s12032-013-0806-2
Anemia is a common complication in several types of cancer including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The prognostic potential of hemoglobin (Hb) levels has not yet been investigated in HCC patients. One hundred and ninety-nine patients were prospectively recruited and Hb levels were determined. Hb levels were compared to the stages of liver cirrhosis and HCC stages. The association of the Hb levels and overall survival (OS) was assessed by univariate and multivariate Cox regression models. The relation of Hb levels and OS was further validated in an independent cohort of 87 HCC patients. Hb levels negatively correlated with the stage of liver cirrhosis (model of end stage liver disease score and Child-Pugh stage) and differed between stages of HCC. Low Hb levels (≤13 g/dl) were associated with higher mortality in the test [hazard ratio (HR) 2.422, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.357–4.322, P = 0.003] as well in the validation cohort (HR 2.486, 95 % CI 1.097–5.632, P = 0.029) in univariate Cox regression model. Low Hb levels were associated with mortality independently from the tumor stage, age, gender and the C-reactive protein levels in a multivariate Cox regression model. Anemia should be considered as a risk factor for mortality in HCC patients.