Prevalence and risk factors of hepatocellular carcinoma in Japanese patients with primary biliary cirrhosis



Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) tends to affect females more than males. PBC selectively damages intrahepatic small bile ducts, particularly interlobular bile ducts. The clinical presentation of PBC has changed according to recent advances in clinicobiological diagnosis and improvements in therapeutic effects and prognosis. In particular, we encounter PBC patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and the number of these patients appears to have increased. The precise reason for the increased number of PBC patients with HCC in recent decades remains unknown, but recognizing the current status of carcinogenesis in PBC patients, identifying the associated clinicopathological risk factors and understanding how the pathogenesis of PBC is directly associated with HCC, is important. In this review, we summarize the data from two nationwide surveys undertaken in Japan as well as recent data from Japanese and international studies.