Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether preoperative liver stiffness measurement (LSM) can predict recurrence after curative resection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). LSM using FibroScan(®) can assess the severity of liver fibrosis, which is significantly associated with recurrence after curative resection of HCC.
Between February 2006 and March 2009, 133 patients who underwent preoperative LSM and curative resection for HCC were enrolled in this prospective study. LSM values were analyzed for association with recurrence, together with other clinical variables.
The mean age of the patients (117 men and 16 women) was 57 years. During the follow-up period (median, 25.0 (range, 3.0-54.6) months), HCC recurred in 62 (46.6 %) patients. In multivariate analysis, together with satellite nodule and Edmonson-Steiner grade III-IV, LSM was selected as an independent predictor of recurrence (P < 0.05; hazard ratio, 1.034; 95 % confidence interval, 1.007-1.061). When the study population was stratified into two groups using the optimal cutoff value (13.4 kPa) that maximized the sum of sensitivity (64.7 %) and specificity (76.1 %) from time-dependent receiver operating characteristic curves (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve = 0.676), patients with LSM values >13.4 kPa were at a significantly greater risk for recurrence with a hazard ratio of 1.925 (P = 0.01; 95 % confidence interval, 1.17-3.168) compared with those with LSM values ≤13.4 kPa.
Our data suggest that LSM can be a useful predictor of recurrence after curative resection of HCC.