To assess the risk factors, natural history, and eligibility for curative treatment of early-detected hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), 385 hemophiliacs who were treated with blood or plasma derivates for at least 10 years and had persistently elevated aminotransferase values underwent an annual screening with an abdominal ultrasound examination and measurement of the serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) level. Of these, 355 had serum antibody to hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV), 29 had anti-HCV and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), and one had HBsAg alone; 141 had serum antibody to human immunodeficiency virus (anti-HIV). During 48 months of follow-up study, six patients developed HCC. All HCC patients had a HCV-related cirrhosis and had been exposed to HCV risk at a median age of 40 years. All patients had a multicentric tumor, which was not eligible for curative treatment. Univariate analysis showed age, cirrhosis, and baseline AFP levels to be significantly associated with an increased risk of HCC. By multivariate analysis, the risk of HCC was infinite in patients with cirrhosis, 31.0 for those with baseline AFP higher than 11 ng/mL, and 17.9 for those more than 45 years of age. in conclusion, the risk of cancer was greater for patients infected later in life, particularly those with cirrhosis and high AFP. Annual screening of hemophiliacs with ultrasound and AFP fails to identify potentially curable tumors because the diagnosis is made at a late stage of the disease.
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 15 1998|
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