Background: This study investigated the relationship between clinicopathologic features and various viral serologies in patients who underwent hepatectomy in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Methods: Two hundred two patients were allocated to four groups, according to their positivity or negativity for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and hepatitis C virus antibody (HCVAb): Group I (HBsAg[-], HCVAb[+], n = 151), Group II (HBsAg[+], HCVAb[-], n = 27), Group III (HBsAg[-], HCVAb[-], n = 20), or Group IV (HBsAg[+], HCVAb[-], n = 4). The mean age of the HBsAg positive patients (Groups II and IV) was 10 years younger than that of the HBsAg negative patients (Groups I and III).
Results: The male-to-female ratio was higher in HCVAb negative groups (II and III). The HCVAb positive groups (I and IV) had a significantly poorer hepatic reserve and smaller resections than the HCVAb negative groups. Because the tumors were more advanced (as determined by TNM staging) in Group II, the 3-year crude and disease free survival rates were lower in Group II than in Group I. However, HCVAb negative groups (II and III), when compared at 5 years with the limited subsets of patients who had tumors at earlier stages or a curative resection, had significantly better crude and disease free 5-year survival rates than the HCVAb positive group (I).
Conclusions: Clinicopathologic features differ from one another in accordance with the viral seromarkers in HCC patients. Significantly better crude and disease free survival after complete resection were promising results for patients with non-HCV-related HCC. By comparison, for patients with HCV-related HCC, the risk of intrahepatic recurrences never subsided even in later years after complete resection. Therefore, posthepatectomy follow-up management should be individualized depending on the viral serologic status of HCC patients.