Background: It is crucial to identify risk factors for life prognosis after hepatitis C virus (HCV) eradication among patients with or without a high risk of liver cancer or complications.
Methods: This is a prospective, multicenter and observational study using the database of 1031 patients after HCV eradication by direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) to evaluate the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and patients' survival after a sustained virological response (SVR). The Cox proportional hazards regression model was used to estimate hazard ratios associated with HCC development and survival.
Results: AFP at SVR was significantly associated with HCC recurrence in the adjusted model. Liver fibrosis, Mac-2 binding protein glycosylation isomer (M2BPGi) at SVR and smoking status before treatment were positively associated with the development of HCC and M2BPGi was positively associated with HCC recurrence, although not reaching statistical significance. Among patients without a history of HCC, M2BPGi and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) at SVR were significantly associated with death after viral eradication [M2BPGi (HR 4.07, 95% CI 1.22, 13.57), eGFR (HR 0.97, 95% CI 0.94, 0.99)]. Strikingly, of 16 patients who died, among participants without a history of HCC, only two died of liver cancer associated with HCV, whereas 11 died of non-HCV- related cancer or cardiovascular diseases.
Conclusion: M2BPGi at SVR is a potential predictor for patients' survival and a candidate biomarker for detecting individuals who are at greater risk of death due to cancer-related and unrelated to HCV, as well as cardiovascular diseases, after viral eradication.
Keywords: DAAs; HCC development; M2BPGi; Patient’ survival.