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Elevated adiponectin and sTNFRII serum levels can predict progression to hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with compensated HCV1 cirrhosis

Jean-Philippe Bastard, Soraya Fellahi, Étienne Audureau, Richard Layese, Françoise Roudot-Thoraval, Carole Cagnot, Valérie Mahuas-Bourcier, Angela Sutton, Marianne Ziol, Jacqueline Capeau, Pierre Nahon
European Cytokine Network 2018 September 1, 29 (3): 112-120
An obesity-related altered adipose tissue secretion is suggested as a risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) cirrhosis. However, no prospective study has yet examined the predictive value of circulating adipokines and immuno-inflammatory biomarkers regarding this risk. This was a case-control study nested in a prospective French national cohort of HCV-infected patients with biopsy-proven compensated cirrhosis. We selected 56 HCV1-infected patients who subsequently developed HCC (cases), and 96 controls matched for age, gender and diabetes, not developing HCC after a similar period. Adipokines and immuno-inflammatory biomarkers were determined on baseline frozen serum samples. Their influence on the occurrence of HCC was assessed using a mixed logistic regression model under univariate analysis and a backward stepwise procedure under multivariate analysis. The patients were mostly male (62.5%) with active HCV replication (83%) and had been followed for a median duration of 6.3 years during which 44.4% achieved a sustained viral response. Higher adiponectinemia levels were found in cases than in controls (P = 0.01). Levels of the immuno-inflammatory markers were similar in both groups except sTNFRII >5,000 pg/mL (52% cases versus 24% controls; P = 0.001). No marker was associated with histological steatosis. Under multivariate analysis, baseline adiponectin and sTNFRII levels were independently associated with the occurrence of HCC, alongside previous excessive alcohol intake and HCV viral load. High baseline circulating adiponectin and sTNFRII levels were associated with an increased risk of HCC in patients with HCV1 cirrhosis, independently of their HCV replication status.


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