Prevalence and characteristics of hepatitis C virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma in a Spanish university hospital

Cancer Epidemiol. 2022 Jun:78:102142. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2022.102142. Epub 2022 Mar 19.


Background: Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) arises in chronic liver diseases, particularly caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV) and alcohol in Europe. We aimed at evaluating the characteristics and mortality of patients with HCV-related HCC as compared to other HCC etiologies.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated data from 887 patients with HCC identified through the Hospital del Mar Cancer Registry (Barcelona, Spain), during the 2001-2020 period. We estimated crude and adjusted hazard ratios (aHR) of dying and its 95% confidence interval (95%CI).

Results: Among 887 patients with HCC, 617 (69.6%) were HCV-infected. Underlying cirrhosis was more frequent in HCV-related HCC compared to other etiologies (97% vs. 89%, p < 0.001). The prevalence of HCV-related HCC decreased from 79% in 2001-2005 to 55% in 2015-2020 (p < 0.001). HCV infection did not increase the hazard of death [aHR 0.95 (CI95% 0.81-1.13)]. Mortality was independently related to age > 75 years, advanced BCLC stage at diagnosis, and diagnosis before 2010.

Conclusion: In our cohort, HCV-related HCC frequently occurred in a cirrhotic background, but showed similar clinical characteristics and mortality as compared to other HCC etiologies.

Keywords: Characteristics; Hepatitis C virus; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Prognosis; Survival.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular* / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular* / etiology
  • Hepacivirus
  • Hepatitis C* / complications
  • Hepatitis C* / epidemiology
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms* / etiology
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies