Hepatocellular carcinoma develops even in some patients who achieve a sustained virological response following treatment for hepatitis C virus infection. This study investigated the relationship between changes in fibrosis, as assessed by sequential biopsies, and development of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients who achieved a sustained virological response for hepatitis C virus. Methods: We enrolled 97 patients with sustained virological response who had undergone initial biopsies before therapy and sequential biopsies at an average of 5.8±1.9 years after the initial biopsy. Factors associated with hepatocellular carcinoma were retrospectively analyzed. Results: The liver fibrotic stage regressed in 44 patients (45%), remained stable in 47 patients (48%) and progressed in six patients (6%). The fibrotic stage significantly decreased, from 1.54±0.86 to 1.16±1.07 units. Hepatocellular carcinoma was identified in 12 patients (12.4%). The cumulative incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with progressive fibrosis was significantly higher than that in patients with regressed or stable fibrosis (P<0.001). A Cox proportional hazards regression analysis confirmed that progressive fibrosis in sequential liver biopsies (hazard ratio [HR], 8.30; P=0.001) and low platelet counts before treatment (HR, 8.69; P=0.006) were significant independent factors associated with the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with a sustained virological response. Conclusion: Progressive fibrosis, assessed by sequential biopsies, was significantly correlated with development of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients who had achieved a sustained virological response for hepatitis C virus.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases