• TT virus;
  • viral hepatitis;
  • hepatocellular carcinoma

Abstract:Aim: The aim of this study was to clarify the relationship between TT virus (TTV) infection and the development of hepatocellular carcinoma. Methods: TTV from serum was examined in 224 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and 106 patients with chronic liver disease (CLD) but without HCC who were admitted to our hospital between 1995–1997. As controls, 48 patients without liver disease were also examined. TTV DNA was detected using nested PCR method after extraction of DNA from serum. Results: TTV DNA was detected in 29/224 (13%) of patients with HCC; in 14% (4/28) of HCC patients negative for both hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg) and anti-hepatitis C virus antibody (anti-HCV), in 9% (2/22) of HCC patients positive for HBsAg, and in 12% (21/170) of HCC patients positive for anti-HCV. The prevalence of TTV DNA in HCC patients (13%) was not significantly higher than in CLD patients (22%). There were no significant differences in age, gender, liver function, tumor biology (size, TNM classification), other viral markers, or amount of alcohol intake between TTV-positive and -negative HCC patients. Only a history of blood transfusion was significantly more frequent in TTV-positive HCC patients than in TTV-negative cases (p=0.02). Coinfection with TTV did not correlate with the severity of HCV-positive liver disease. There was no significant difference in prognosis between TTV-positive and -negative HCC patients. Conclusions: TTV does not seem to contribute to the development of HCC from chronic liver disease and is not correlated with severity of liver disease.