Clinicopathologic and Prognostic Significance of the Histologic Activity of Noncancerous Liver Tissue in Hepatitis B Virus-Associated Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Am J Clin Pathol. 2002 Mar;117(3):411-8. doi: 10.1309/4231-RCVB-WK8X-R1JK.


We prospectively studied 66 patients infected with the hepatitis B virus who underwent liver resection for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) to evaluate the influence of the histologic activity of noncancerous liver tissue on clinicopathologic features and prognosis. Based on the histologic activity index (HAI) score of nontumorous liver tissue, patients were classified into 3 groups: mild, moderate, or severe hepatitis. Overall, higher HAI scores were more frequent in patients with poorer liver function: lower serum albumin levels and higher indocyanine green retention at 15 minutes. Moreover, patients with moderate hepatitis had more frequent venous invasion, and the tumor size decreased with increasing HAI scores. Similar results were observed when the fibrosis category was excluded in the calculation of HAI scores. The overall or disease-free survival rates did not differ significantly among the 3 groups of patients. However, higher fibrosis scores were associated significantly with shorter disease-free survival rates. HAI scores correlated significantly with certain clinicopathologic features. In patients with hepatitis B-related HCC, a higher fibrosis score in the nontumorous liver tissue, but not histologic hepatitic activity, seems to be a significant factor predisposing to shorter survival.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / virology*
  • Female
  • Hepatitis B / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Liver / pathology*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / mortality
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Liver Neoplasms / virology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Serum Albumin / analysis
  • Survival Rate


  • Serum Albumin
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Alanine Transaminase