Background & aims: Viral genotypes have been associated with different severity and outcome of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related liver disease. The aim of this study was to determine whether HCV genotypes may influence the cirrhosis-related risk of the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Methods: Three groups of patients were studied: 593 patients with chronic hepatitis, 166 patients with HCC and cirrhosis, and 219 patients with cirrhosis but without HCC. A cross-sectional study of frequency distribution and a case-control analysis were performed. HCV genotypes were detected according to Okamoto.
Results: HCV type 1b infection was more prevalent among patients with HCC compared with patients with cirrhosis but without HCC (P < 0.01) and chronic hepatitis (P < 0.001). Age, male sex, and HCV type 1b significantly influenced the risk of cancer in cirrhosis by univariate analysis. A pairwise comparison performed on 162 patients with HCC and an equal number of patients with cirrhosis matched by age, sex, and Child's class showed that HCV type 1b was independently associated with HCC (odds ratio, 1.7; P = 0.026).
Conclusions: HCV type 1b is overrepresented in patients with cirrhosis and HCC and significantly influences the risk of HCC in cirrhosis, independent of sex, age, and Child's class.