Article Abstract

Occult HBV infection status and its impact on surgical outcomes in patients with curative resection for HCV-associated hepatocellular carcinoma

Authors: Koutaro Yamaji, Keita Kai, Sho Komukai, Hiroki Koga, Takao Ide, Atsushi Kawaguchi, Hirokazu Noshiro, Shinichi Aishima


Background: We sought to clarify the prevalence of occult hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection (OBI) and to determine whether OBI affects the surgical outcomes in curatively resected Japanese patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Methods: A total of 257 patients with HCV-related HCC who underwent curative surgical resection were enrolled. All enrolled patients were serologically negative for HBV surface antigen and positive for HCV antibody. DNA was extracted from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded liver tissue. OBI was determined by the HBV-DNA amplification of at least two different sets of primers by TaqMan real-time polymerase chain reaction. Surgical outcomes were evaluated according to overall survival (OS), disease-specific survival (DSS), and disease-free survival (DFS).
Results: OBI was identified in 15 of the 257 (5.8%) cases. In the multivariate analyses, the factors significantly correlated with OS were BMI >25 (P=0.0416), portal vein invasion (P=0.0065), and multiple tumors (P=0.0064). The only factor significantly correlated with DSS was T-stage (P=0.0275). The factors significantly correlated with DFS were liver fibrosis (P=0.0017) and T-stage (P=0.0001). The status of OBI did not show any significant correlation with OS, DSS or DFS, but a weak association with DSS (P=0.0603) was observed.
Conclusions: The prevalence of OBI was 5.8% in 257 cases of HCV-related HCC. Although a weak association between DSS and OBI was observed, and statistical analyses were limited by small number of OBI cases, no significant correlation between OBI and surgical outcomes was detected.

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