Background/aims: Close relationships between hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and hepatitis virus infection have been elucidated. However, clinical differences between HBV- and HCV-associated HCC remain unclear.
Methodology: Four hundred and sixteen patients with HCC were examined for both HBsAg and HCV-Ab. Sixty-nine of the 416 patients (16.6%) were positive for HBsAg and negative for HCV-Ab (B-HCC), while 290 patients (69.7%) were negative for HBsAg and positive for HCV-Ab (C-HCC). Various comparisons were made between the 2 groups.
Results: B-HCC patients were younger in age (p < 0.0001), and had significantly better liver function than C-HCC patients. The motivation of HCC detection was different between the 2 groups (p < 0.0001), and the tumor size of B-HCC was significantly larger when comparing groups with regard to symptoms (p < 0.05). Although B-HCC demonstrated better survival in Stage I/II treated by surgery (p < 0.05), it was associated with poorer survival in Stage III/IV receiving hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy when compared to C-HCC (p < 0.01).
Conclusions: These results suggest that clinical differences between B-HCC and C-HCC may depend upon the difference of the natural course between HBV and HCV infection, and B-HCC may be more resistant to treatment than C-HCC in the advanced stage. This also illustrates the need for early tumor detection in B-HCC.