Low serum HBV DNA levels and development of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with chronic hepatitis B: a case–control study
Article first published online: 29 MAY 2007
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Volume 26, Issue 3, pages 377–382, August 2007
How to Cite
FUNG, J., YUEN, M.-F., YUEN, J. C.-H., WONG, D. K.-H. and LAI, C.-L. (2007), Low serum HBV DNA levels and development of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with chronic hepatitis B: a case–control study. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 26: 377–382. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2007.03390.x
- Issue published online: 29 MAY 2007
- Article first published online: 29 MAY 2007
- Publication data Submitted 20 April 2007 First decision 12 May 2007 Resubmitted 18 May 2007 Accepted 22 May 2007
To investigate the level of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA in Chinese chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients below which hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is unlikely to occur.
Methods A total of 92 CHB patients diagnosed with HCC were recruited; 184 CHB patients without HCC, matched for age, sex and HBeAg status were included as controls. HBV DNA levels were performed at the time of HCC development and at the same age time points for control group.
Results The median HBV DNA level in HCC patients was 1.7 × 106 copies/mL compared with 2.2 × 105 copies/mL in controls (P = 0.006). In HCC patients, 21 (22.8%) were HBeAg(+), with no significant difference in HBV DNA levels compared with controls. Seventy-one (77%) HCC patients were HBeAg(−) with median HBV DNA level of 3.2 × 105 copies/mL, compared with 6.0 × 104 copies/mL in controls (P = 0.006). In HBeAg(−) patients, the control group had significantly greater proportion of patients having HBV DNA levels <105 and <104 copies/mL compared with HCC patients. Fifteen per cent of all HCC patients had HBV DNA levels <103 copies/mL.
Conclusions In HBeAg(+) patients, HBV DNA levels were high in both HCC and control patients. In HBeAg(−) patients, HCC was more likely to develop in patients with HBV DNA level >104 copies/mL. However, 15% of the patients with HCC had HBV DNA levels <103 copies/mL.