Changing aetiological factors of hepatocellular carcinoma and their potential impact on the effectiveness of surveillance

Tommaso Stroffolini, Franco Trevisani, Giovanbattista Pinzello, Franco Brunello, Maurizio A. Tommasini, Massimo Iavarone, Vito di Marco, Fabio Farinati, Paolo del Poggio, Franco Borzio, Mauro Borzio, Eugenio Caturelli, Maria Anna di Nolfo, Marta Frigerio, Giuseppina Brancaccio, Giovanni Battista Gaeta

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Background: The aetiological factors of hepatocellular carcinoma may vary over time. Aims: The study assessed the potential impact of the aetiological factors on the effectiveness of surveillance in real-world patients. Methods: Multicentre, cross-sectional study enrolling consecutive hepatocellular carcinoma cases during a six month period. Results: 1733 cases (1311 prevalent and 422 incident) were recruited (mean age 68.6 years; 46.1% cases over 70 years; 73.9% males; 95.3% with cirrhosis); 63.0% were hepatitis C virus positive and 23.7% were virus negative. Amongst incident HCCs, 34.5% were single ≤3 cm and 54.4% met the Milan criteria; 61.6% were diagnosed during surveillance; virus negative patients showed the lowest rate of surveillance (51.0%). Surveillance was an independent predictor of detecting single HCCs ≤2 cm (O.R = 5.4; 95% C.I = 2.4-12.4) or HCCs meeting the Milan criteria (O.R = 3.1; 95% C.I = 1.9-5.2). Compared with an earlier Italian survey, there was a higher proportion of elderly subjects (P<0.01), Child-Pugh class A cases (P<0.01), of virus-negative patients (P<0.01) and with single tumours ≤3 cm (P<0.01) and a lower prevalence of hepatitis C virus positive individuals (P<0.01). Conclusion: HCC is characterised by a growing prevalence of elderly patients and cases unrelated to hepatitis virus infections. The application of surveillance must be implemented, particularly amongst non-viral patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)875-880
Number of pages6
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


  • Cancer stage
  • Epidemiology
  • Hepatitis
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatology


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