Prevalence of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with alcoholic cirrhosis and prior exposure to hepatitis C

M Yamauchi, M Nakahara, Y Maezawa, S Satoh, F Nishikawa, M Ohata, Y Mizuhara, J Hirakawa, H Nakajima, K Fujisawa
American Journal of Gastroenterology 1993, 88 (1): 39-43
Sixty-three patients with alcoholic cirrhosis were retrospectively studied for the prevalence of antibodies to core (P22) and nonstructural (C100) region of hepatitis C virus (HCV). The prevalence rate of anti-P22 antibodies in patients with alcoholic cirrhosis was higher than that of anti-C100 antibodies (63.5% vs. 54.9%). The positivity rate of anti-C100 and/or anti-P22 antibodies was 73.0% (46/63) in alcoholic cirrhosis. We performed a multivariate analysis on the effects of age, sex, cumulative alcohol intake, anti-HCV antibodies, indocyanine green excretion test, and serum albumin on the development of hepatocellular carcinoma HCC in patients with cirrhosis, using Cox's proportional-hazards model, which revealed that anti-HCV positivity was the only independent prognostic variable for HCC in patients with alcoholic cirrhosis. The probability of HCC was significantly higher in the anti-HCV-positive patients than in the negative patients with alcoholic cirrhosis (p < 0.05). The 3-, 5- and 10-yr cumulative occurrence rate of HCC was, respectively, 13.3%, 41.3%, and 80.7% for anti-HCV-positive patients with alcoholic cirrhosis, compared with 0%, 8.3%, and 18.5% for anti-HCV-negative patients. In nonalcoholic patients with type C cirrhosis, the 3-, 5-, and 10-yr cumulative occurrence rate of HCC was 7.3%, 23.1%, and 56.5%, respectively. The follow-up studies indicate that hepatocarcinogenesis is hastened significantly in patients with alcoholic cirrhosis if they are positive for anti-HCV antibody, and that heavy alcohol consumption also is a risk factor for the development of HCC in patients with type C cirrhosis.

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