Hepatitis B viruses (HBV) with core promoter mutations (A(1762)T, G(1764)A) were found in a previous study to be highly prevalent in patients from Guangxi, China with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The aim of this study was to determine whether the mutations are prevalent in areas of Guangxi with high and lower incidences of HCC and whether they are associated with other severe sequelae of chronic hepatitis B, including the development of cirrhosis. In addition, the genotypes of the various HBV sequences were determined. Core promoter mutations were significantly more common in HCC patients than asymptomatic carriers from both regions of Guangxi and also were common in patients with cirrhosis and chronic hepatitis. The data also support the hypothesis that genotype C HBV causes more severe liver disease than does genotype B.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.