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Keywords:

  • curative resection;
  • hepatic steatosis;
  • hepatitis C virus;
  • hepatocellular carcinoma;
  • intrahepatic recurrence;
  • stage of fibrosis

Abstract

Background: Hepatic steatosis is a prominent feature of chronic hepatitis C. Hepatic steatosis was reported recently to be a risk factor for hepatitis C virus (HCV)-associated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

Aim: To investigate whether hepatic steatosis influences the postoperative recurrence of HCV-associated HCC.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted in 88 patients undergoing curative resection of HCV-associated HCC. Cumulative tumour recurrence rates were compared between steatosis-positive and steatosis-negative patients, and the factors affecting intrahepatic recurrence were assessed.

Results: The respective tumour recurrence rates at 1, 3, and 5 years were 19%, 76%, and 92% in the steatosis-positive group, and 12%, 52%, and 60% in the steatosis-negative group. The tumour recurrence rate of the steatosis-positive group was significantly higher than that of the steatosis-negative group (P=0.02). Hepatic steatosis [relative risk (RR)=3.31, 95% confidence intervals (CIs)=1.49–7.41, P=0.003], stage of fibrosis (RR=3.17, 95% CI=1.35–7.47, P=0.008), surgical procedure (RR=0.22, 95% CI=0.076–0.64, P=0.005), number of tumours (RR=5.24, 95% CI=1.63–16.80, P=0.005), size of the largest tumour (RR=3.52, 95% CI=1.28–9.69, P=0.02), and vascular invasion (RR=2.72, 95% CI=1.32–5.59, P=0.007) were independent factors for tumour recurrence rate by multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: Hepatic steatosis is a useful predictor of postoperative recurrence of HCV-related HCC.