To determine clinical-pathologic variables in patients with a new diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and underlying hepatitis B vs. C infection.
Patients presenting to a single urban hospital with a new diagnosis of HCC were entered into a clinical database. Variables including number and size of tumors, presence of metastases, serum alpha-Fetoprotein, hepatitis serologies, severity of hepatic dysfunction, and presence of cirrhosis were evaluated in 127 patients.
Patients with hepatitis B (HBV) were more likely to develop HCC at a younger age than patients with hepatitis C (HCV) (HBV-26% under age 40, HCV-0% under age 40; p < 0.001), with greater serum alpha-Fetoprotein production (median level: HBV-1000 ng/ml vs. HCV- 37 ng/ml; p = 0.002), with larger tumors (HBV-78% >5 cm, HCV-28% >5 cm; p < 0.001), in the absence of cirrhosis (HBV-40%, HCV-0%; p < 0.001), and a decreased eligibility for curative treatment (HBV-14%, HCV-34%; p < 0.05). Conversely, patients with HCV were more likely to develop HCC in association with multiple co-morbidities, cirrhosis, and older age.
Significant clinical-pathologic differences exist among HCC patients with underlying HBV vs. HCV. These differences impact eligibility for potentially-curative therapy and prognosis.