Aim: Nucleos(t)ide analog (NA) therapy has been reported to reduce the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, some patients who achieve hepatitis B virus (HBV)-DNA disappearance from serum by NA develop HCC. In this study, we investigated the cumulative incidence and risk factors for HCC in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) who achieved sustained disappearance of viremia by NA treatment. Methods: A total of 133 CHB patients (median age, 51 years; 79 men [59%]; 28 with cirrhosis [21%]) who received NA therapy and achieved HBV-DNA disappearance from serum were analyzed retrospectively. We evaluated the cumulative incidence of HCC and risk factors associated with HCC based on data collected at the time of HBV-DNA disappearance. Results: Thirteen patients developed HCC during the follow-up period. The 1-, 3-, and 5-year cumulative incidence of HCC was 0.0%, 7.8%, and 11.1%, respectively. In multivariate analysis, advanced age (hazard ratio [HR], 4.601; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.220–17.351; P = 0.024), liver cirrhosis (HR, 5.563; 95% CI, 1.438–21.519; P = 0.013), and higher HBV core-related antigen (HBcrAg) levels (HR, 13.532; 95% CI, 1.683–108.815; P = 0.014) at the time of HBV-DNA disappearance were significantly associated with the development of HCC. Conclusion: Our findings indicate the importance of continuous HCC surveillance especially in patients with advanced age, cirrhosis, and/or higher serum levels of HBcrAg, even if they achieve HBV-DNA disappearance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes