Hepatocellular carcinoma in Saudi Arabia: Role of hepatitis B and C infection
Article first published online: 18 MAY 2004
Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume 19, Issue 6, pages 665–669, June 2004
How to Cite
AYOOLA, E. A. and GADOUR, M. O. (2004), Hepatocellular carcinoma in Saudi Arabia: Role of hepatitis B and C infection. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 19: 665–669. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2003.03334.x
- Issue published online: 18 MAY 2004
- Article first published online: 18 MAY 2004
- Accepted for publication 28 July 2003.
- hepatitis B;
- hepatitis C;
- hepatocellular carcinoma;
- Saudi Arabia;
- viral hepatitis;
Background and Aim: To estimate the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in non-alcoholic patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, 118 patients who were admitted to a regional hospital in Saudi Arabia were compared with 118 age- and sex-matched healthy individuals.
Results: The prevalence of HBsAg in HCC patients (67%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 57.7–75.3) was significantly higher than the rate (6.7%; 95%CI: 3.0–12.9) in the controls (OR: 28.4; 95%CI: 12.6–63.9; P < 0.001). There was a high risk of HCC in the presence of HBsAg alone (OR: 34.3; 95%CI: 14.8–79.1, P < 0.001) and anti-HCV alone (OR: 12.2; 95%CI: 3.2–47.2; P < 0.001). Although HBV and HCV were independent risk factors in the development of HCC, there was no interactive relationship between the two viruses. Dual infections occurred in only 3.4% and were associated with only a moderate increase in the risk of HCC (OR: 14.6; 95%CI: 1.57–135.9). In 24.6% of the cases no virus was identified as the etiologic factor.
Conclusion: Hepatitis B virus constitutes a major risk factor and HCV contributes a less significant role in the development of HCC. The ongoing program of HBV vaccination may significantly decrease the prevalence of HBV-associated HCC in this population.