Hepatitis B and C viral infections in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma

Authors

  • Juan Ruiz,

    1. Center of Biomedical Research, Department of Medicine, Clínica Universitaria, Universidad de Navarra, 31080 Pamplona, Spain
    2. Liver Unit, Clínica Universitaria, Universidad de Navarra, 31080 Pamplona, Spain
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  • Bruno Sangro,

    1. Center of Biomedical Research, Department of Medicine, Clínica Universitaria, Universidad de Navarra, 31080 Pamplona, Spain
    2. Liver Unit, Clínica Universitaria, Universidad de Navarra, 31080 Pamplona, Spain
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  • José I. Cuende,

    1. Center of Biomedical Research, Department of Medicine, Clínica Universitaria, Universidad de Navarra, 31080 Pamplona, Spain
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  • Oscar Beloqui,

    1. Center of Biomedical Research, Department of Medicine, Clínica Universitaria, Universidad de Navarra, 31080 Pamplona, Spain
    2. Liver Unit, Clínica Universitaria, Universidad de Navarra, 31080 Pamplona, Spain
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  • JosBé I. Riezu-Boj,

    1. Center of Biomedical Research, Department of Medicine, Clínica Universitaria, Universidad de Navarra, 31080 Pamplona, Spain
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  • JOSé I. Herrero,

    1. Center of Biomedical Research, Department of Medicine, Clínica Universitaria, Universidad de Navarra, 31080 Pamplona, Spain
    2. Liver Unit, Clínica Universitaria, Universidad de Navarra, 31080 Pamplona, Spain
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  • Prof. Jesús Prieto

    Corresponding author
    1. Center of Biomedical Research, Department of Medicine, Clínica Universitaria, Universidad de Navarra, 31080 Pamplona, Spain
    2. Liver Unit, Clínica Universitaria, Universidad de Navarra, 31080 Pamplona, Spain
    • Centro de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Departamento de Medicina Interna, Clínica Universitaria, 31080 Pamplona, Spain
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Abstract

The prevalence of hepatitis B and C virus infections was studied in 70 patients diagnosed as having hepatocellular carcinoma. In addition to viral serological markers, serum hepatitis B virus DNA and hepatitis C virus RNA were determined with a nested polymerase chain reaction assay. Twelve patients (17%) were HBsAg positive, 26 (37%) had antibodies to HBs, HBc or both and 32 (46%) were negative for all hepatitis B virus serological markers. Prevalence of the antibody to hepatitis C virus was 63% (44 patients). Hepatitis B virus DNA was detected in 24 of the 66 tested patients (36%). Twelve of these hepatitis B virus DNA-positive patients were HBsAg negative (seven were positive for antibody to HBs, antibody to HBc or both and five were negative for all hepatitis B virus serological markers). Hepatitis C virus RNA was found in 42 of 68 patients (62%): A high correlation (95%) existed between hepatitis C virus RNA and hepatitis C virus antibodies. Nevertheless, two patients without antibody to hepatitis C virus had serum hepatitis C virus RNA sequences. Coinfection by the two viruses was detected in nine subjects (14%), but no clinical differences were found between these and the rest of the patients. We conclude that nearly 90% (62 of the 70 patients studied) of cases of hepatocellular carcinoma in our geographical area are related to hepatitis virus infections (detected by serological or molecular studies). Hepatitis C is more prevalent than hepatitis B virus in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, and the infection is still active when the tumor is diagnosed. This fact is probably important in the contribution of hepatitis C virus to the development of hepatocellular carcinoma. (HEPATOLOGY 1992;16:637–641.)

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