Hepatocellular carcinoma appearance in patients with hepatitis C virus-related chronic liver disease 90 and 70 months after sustained virological response to interferon and ribavirin


Pietro Andreone, MD, Dipartimento di Medicina Interna, Cardioangiologia ed Epatologia, Policlinico S.Orsola Malpighi, Via Massarenti, 9, 40138 Bologna, Italy
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e-mail: pietro.andreone@unibo.it


We report here two cases of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) 90 and 70 months, respectively, after successful treatment with interferon (IFN) and ribavirin for hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related cirrhosis. A 50-year-old Caucasian man and a 66-year-old Caucasian woman with HCV-related cirrhosis were treated with IFN and ribavirin and in both cases a sustained virological response (SVR) was obtained with persistent normalization of serum aminotransferases and continuous disappearance of serum HCV-RNA. Both patients were subsequently followed up within an HCC surveillance programme based on biochemical and ultrasound (US) evaluation every 6 months and the appearance of HCC was detected 90 and 70 months, respectively, after discontinuation of therapy. We introduce these two cases to call attention to the importance of not underestimating the risk of HCC development even many years after complete HCV eradication, especially in the presence of established cirrhosis and concomitance of other risk factors for HCC.