Journal of Gastroenterology

, Volume 49, Issue 12, pp 1567–1577 | Cite as

Influence of human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 coinfection on the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with hepatitis C virus infection

  • Mayumi Tokunaga
  • Hirofumi UtoEmail author
  • Kohei Oda
  • Masahito Tokunaga
  • Seiichi Mawatari
  • Kotaro Kumagai
  • Kouichi Haraguchi
  • Makoto Oketani
  • Akio Ido
  • Nobuhito Ohnou
  • Atae Utsunomiya
  • Hirohito Tsubouchi
Original Article—Liver, Pancreas, and Biliary Tract



Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) may worsen the clinical course of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The aim of this study was to investigate whether HTLV-1 coinfection influences the clinical characteristics of patients with HCV infection.


This retrospective study included 523 consecutive patients from January 2001 to December 2010 with chronic liver disease due to HCV infection, in whom serum anti-HTLV-1 antibodies were examined. Among these patients, 265 were diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).


The seroprevalence of anti-HTLV-1 antibodies was significantly higher in patients with HCC (21.1 %) than those without HCC (10.5 %, P = 0.001). This significant difference was observed in female patients (29.5 vs. 8.5 %, P < 0.001), but not in male patients (16.5 vs. 12.9 %, P = 0.501). In multivariate analysis, anti-HTLV-1 antibody positivity was independently associated with HCC in female patients [odds ratio (OR), 5.029; 95 % confidence interval (95 % CI), 1.760–14.369; P = 0.003], in addition to age (≥65 years; OR, 10.297; 95 % CI, 4.322–24.533; P < 0.001), platelet count (<15 × 104/μL; OR, 2.715; 95 % CI, 1.050–7.017; P = 0.039), total bilirubin (≥1 mg/dL; OR, 3.155; 95 % CI, 1.365–7.292; P = 0.007), and total cholesterol (≤160 mg/dL; OR, 2.916; 95 % CI, 1.341–6.342; P = 0.007). In contrast, HTLV-1 coinfection was not associated with HCC in male patients, although age, alcohol consumption, platelet count, and albumin were independently associated with HCC.


HTLV-1 coinfection may contribute to the development of HCC in patients with chronic HCV infection, especially in females.


HTLV-1 Risk factor Hepatitis C virus Hepatocellular carcinoma Coinfection 


Conflict of interest

H. Tsubouchi holds endowed faculty positions in research for HGF tissue repair and regenerative medicine, and has received funds from Eisai Co., Ltd. The other authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mayumi Tokunaga
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hirofumi Uto
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kohei Oda
    • 1
  • Masahito Tokunaga
    • 1
    • 2
  • Seiichi Mawatari
    • 1
  • Kotaro Kumagai
    • 1
  • Kouichi Haraguchi
    • 1
    • 3
  • Makoto Oketani
    • 1
  • Akio Ido
    • 1
  • Nobuhito Ohnou
    • 4
  • Atae Utsunomiya
    • 2
  • Hirohito Tsubouchi
    • 5
  1. 1.Digestive and Lifestyle Diseases, Department of Human and Environmental SciencesKagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental SciencesKagoshimaJapan
  2. 2.Department of HematologyImamura Bun-in HospitalKagoshimaJapan
  3. 3.Department of HematologyNational Hospital Organization Kagoshima Medical CenterKagoshimaJapan
  4. 4.Department of HematologyIkeda HospitalKanoyaJapan
  5. 5.Department of HGF Tissue Repair and Regenerative MedicineKagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental SciencesKagoshimaJapan

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