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Keywords:

  • hepatitis B virus;
  • genotype;
  • subtype;
  • cirrhosis;
  • hepatocellular carcinoma;
  • transcatheter arterial embolization therapy

Abstract

To identify the influence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotype on development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and clinical outcome in chronic HBV infection, 26 consecutive cirrhotic patients infected with HBV subtype adw were investigated prospectively. HBV serology was undertaken using subtype-specific antibodies against hepatitis B surface antigens. The HBV genotype was determined by sequencing directly the polymerase chain reaction products of the HBV S gene. When HCC occurred, patients underwent transcatheter arterial embolization therapy. If tumor necrosis was incomplete, additional embolization therapy was carried out after a 3- to 4-month interval. At a median follow-up of 14.1 years (range 2.2 to 31.7), HCC occurred in 9 (35%) of 26 patients. Nineteen patients were infected with genotype B and 7 with genotype C. Four of the 19 genotype B patients (21%) and 5 of the 7 genotype C patients (71%) developed HCC (P = 0.058). Patient age (<45 years or 45 ≤ ) at diagnosis of cirrhosis was the only significant independent factor influencing liver carcinogenesis by multiple logistic regression analysis and Cox's regression analysis (P = 0.0069 and 0.029, respectively). When analysis was limited to the age of 45 years or more at the last visit, genotype was the only contributory factor to HCC development by univariate analysis (P = 0.038). Whereas genotype B patients responded well to embolization therapy and had no recurrence of HCC for a prolonged period of time, genotype C patients showed poor responses and died of hepatic failure due to rapid HCC progression despite embolization therapy. The cumulative incidence of survival was significantly higher in the genotype B group (P = 0.0049). The HBV genotype correlated with the development of HCC, response to embolization therapy, and recurrence of HCC. Determination of HBV genotype may be useful in predicting outcomes in HBV subtype adw-related cirrhosis. J. Med. Virol. 65:257–265, 2001. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.