Journal of Gastroenterology

, 46:1230 | Cite as

Hepatocellular carcinoma in Japanese patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, alcoholic liver disease, and chronic liver disease of unknown etiology: report of the nationwide survey

  • Katsutoshi Tokushige
  • Etsuko Hashimoto
  • Yoshinori Horie
  • Makiko Taniai
  • Susumu Higuchi
Original Article—Liver, Pancreas, and Biliary Tract



To clarify the etiology of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in Japanese patients with non-viral liver disease, we performed a nationwide survey. The influence of obesity, lifestyle-related diseases, and alcohol consumption was focused on.


A nationwide survey of 14,530 HCC patients was conducted in 2009. Clinical features were studied for HCC patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD-HCC; n = 292), alcoholic liver disease (ALC-HCC; n = 991), and chronic liver disease of unknown etiology (unknown HCC; n = 614). The unknown HCC was divided into two subgroups, a no alcohol intake group and a modest alcohol intake group.


ALC-HCC accounted for 7.2% of all HCC, followed by unknown HCC (5.1%) and NAFLD-HCC (2.0%). The characteristics of these three groups were clearly different (median age was 72 years for NAFLD-HCC, 68 years for ALC-HCC, and 73 years for unknown HCC, p < 0.01; female gender was 38, 4, and 37%, respectively, p < 0.01). Obesity and lifestyle-related diseases were significantly more frequent in NAFLD-HCC than in ALC-HCC and unknown HCC. The no alcohol intake subgroup of unknown HCC showed female predominance (58%) and was older, without a high prevalence of obesity and lifestyle-related diseases. In contrast, the modest alcohol intake subgroup showed the same trends regarding gender, body mass index, prevalence of lifestyle-related diseases, and liver function as the ALC-HCC group.


The clinical features of ALC-HCC, NAFLD-HCC, and unknown HCC were clearly different. Modest intake of alcohol might have a more significant role in hepatic carcinogenesis than is presently thought.


Hepatocellular carcinoma Alcoholic liver disease Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease Questionnaire survey 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katsutoshi Tokushige
    • 1
  • Etsuko Hashimoto
    • 1
  • Yoshinori Horie
    • 2
  • Makiko Taniai
    • 1
  • Susumu Higuchi
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine and GastroenterologyTokyo Women’s Medical UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineInternational University of Health and Welfare, Sanno HospitalTokyoJapan
  3. 3.National Hospital Organization Kurihama Alcoholism CenterYokosukaJapan

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