Prothrombin induced by vitamin K absence or antagonist-II and alpha foetoprotein to predict development of hepatocellular carcinoma in Caucasian patients with hepatitis C-related cirrhosis treated with direct-acting antiviral agents

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Abstract

Background: Prothrombin induced by vitamin K absence or antagonist-II (PIVKA-II) and alpha fetoprotein (AFP) are biomarkers for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, their performance in patients with cirrhosis related to hepatitis C virus (HCV) treated with direct-acting antiviral agents (DAA) is unknown. Aim: To evaluate PIVKA-II and AFP as HCC predictors in DAA-treated patients with HCV-related cirrhosis. Methods: In this single centre study, patients with cirrhosis from chronic HCV infection and with a sustained virological response (SVR) to DAA were tested for PIVKA-II and AFP (Fujirebio, Japan) at the start of DAA treatment (baseline), end of treatment (EOT) and at HCC diagnosis. Results: We included 400 patients with mean age 65 (24-92); 56% were men. From baseline to EOT, PIVKA-II did not change (35 vs 35 mAU/mL, P = 0.43) while AFP significantly decreased (12 vs 6 ng/mL, P < 0.0001). After 52 (3-66) months from baseline, 34 (8.5%) patients developed de novo HCC; median AFP 9 (2-12 868) ng/mL and PIVKA-II 80 (22-1813) mAU/mL. EOT-PIVKA-II (HR 3.05, P < 0.0001) and AFP (HR 2.77, P = 0.001) independently predicted HCC together with diabetes (HR 6.12, P < 0.001) and GGT (HR 1.01, P = 0.03). The 4-year cumulative probability of HCC was 24% vs 2% in patients with EOT-PIVKA-II > or ≤41 mAU/mL (P < 0.0001), and 26% vs 9% for EOT-AFP > or ≤15 ng/mL (P = 0.02). By combining EOT-PIVKA-II and AFP, the 4-year probabilities of HCC were 3% in patients testing negative for both markers, 18% in patients positive for both, and 38% in patients positive for at least one (P < 0.0001). Conclusions: In patients with HCV-related cirrhosis treated with DAA, PIVKA-II and AFP independently predicted HCC, while their combination improved risk stratification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-359
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Volume55
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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