Department of Internal Medicine, Haeundae Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.
Pre-S mutation of hepatitis B virus (HBV) is known to be a risk factor for hepatocarcinogenesis. A previous study suggested that pre-S mutation(s) may associate with increased recurrence after surgical resection. In the present study, 64 patients with HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) were categorized into two groups according to the presence or absence of pre-S mutation(s). The clinicopathological variables of the two groups were analyzed to assess the relationship between pre-S mutations and postoperative recurrence. Nineteen patients (29.7%) had pre-S mutations;13 had a pre-S deletion, three had a pre-S2 start codon mutation, two patients had both a pre-S deletion, and a pre-S2 start codon mutation, and one patient had a pre-S2 insertion. The two groups did not differ in terms of baseline clinicopathological parameters. Cirrhosis and satellite lesion(s) were predictive factors for postoperative recurrence and poor overall survival. Recurrence-free survival (P = 0.320) and overall survival (P = 0.238) did not differ significantly when pre-S mutations were present. In conclusion, this study did not find evidence supporting the notion that pre-S mutation(s) are associated with postoperative recurrence after surgical resection.