Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) genotypes distribution among hepatocellular carcinoma patients in Southern Italy: A three year retrospective study

Arnolfo Petruzziello, Samantha Marigliano, Giovanna Loquercio, Nicola Coppola, Mauro Piccirillo, Maddalena Leongito, Rosa Azzaro, Francesco Izzo, Gerardo Botti

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Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the major cause for cancer in the world. Aim of this case-control study was to investigate the distribution pattern of HCV genotypes among HCC patients and suggest whether infection with specific subtypes may be associated with an increased risk of progression to cancer. Methods: 152 HCC anti-HCV positive patients, fulfilling the criteria from the Barcelona 2000 EASL conference, and 568 patients HCV chronically infected but without HCC as control group were included in the study. Serum of each patient was evaluated for viral load estimation and genotyping. Results: Males with HCC significantly showed to have quite 2 times higher risk of exposure to HCV infection (OR = 1.72; 95% CI = 1.15-2.58). Moreover, HCC was significantly associated with older age. In fact, > 50 years older patients showed to have a higher risk of developing HCC (OR = 17.4; 95% CI = 4.24 to 71.36) compared to younger patients. HCV RNA rate was significantly higher (83.7%) among HCC patients than in the control group (61.4%, p < 0.001) and the most prevalent genotype was 1b (68.0% in HCC vs 54.4% in the control group, p < 0.005). HCC patients significantly have a risk of exposure to HCV 1b infection almost 2 times greater than the control group (OR = 1.8; 95% CI = 1.11-2.82). The multivariate-adjusted OR (95% CI) of developing HCC for HCV 1b comparing to non-1b was 1.65 (1.16-2.33). Conclusions: Our study detected a significantly higher rate of HCV RNA positivity and a higher rate of HCV 1b infection in HCC patients, suggesting the strict association between subtype 1b infection and HCC. A prospective study with larger number of samples would be needed to confirm our results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number52
JournalInfectious Agents and Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 6 2017


  • HCV
  • HCV genotypes
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Italy
  • Liver cancer
  • Risk factors
  • Viral load

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Cancer Research


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