Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 52, Issue 9, pp 2452–2459

Posttraumatic Growth, Immunity and Survival in Patients with Hepatoma

  • James T. Dunigan
  • Brian I. Carr
  • Jennifer L. Steel
Original Paper


This study was designed to assess the relationship between posttraumatic growth (PTG), immunity, and survival in patients with biopsy-proven hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Forty-one patients with HCC were administered the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory. Total and differential peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) counts were measured at baseline, 3-, and 6-month follow-up. Survival also was measured from the data of diagnosis to death. Participants who scored above the median for the PTGI total scale score (423 days) survived 186 days longer than participants who scored below the median PTGI total score (237 days). Patients with PTG scores above the median had higher PBL counts. The results of this study suggest that patients with greater PTG scores recover more rapidly from chemotherapy in regards to their white blood cell counts. Further research is warranted regarding the possible immune mediation between PTG and survival.


Posttraumatic growth Hepatocellular carcinoma Immune system functioning HPA-axis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • James T. Dunigan
    • 1
  • Brian I. Carr
    • 2
  • Jennifer L. Steel
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology and ImmunologyUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of Surgery, Starzl Transplant Institute, Liver Cancer CenterUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA

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