Small hepatocellular carcinoma in Chinese patients

Brian I. Carr, Sheng Nan Lu, Petr Pancoska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Aims: Physicians aim to prevent HCC by treating the underlying cause or diagnosing it early. Surveillance depends on radiological screening. We previously found that age, gender and serum GGTP levels were significant prognostic factors. Methodology: We evaluated 325 Chinese HCC patients with hepatitis and were diagnosed with small HCCs by surveillance in Taiwan and we examined their clinical characteristics at time of HCC diagnosis, after ordering the patients according to their tumor mass and then analyzing trends in the data. Results: We found that gender is associated with tumor mass and the patterns are different in patients with HBV or HCV. Male gender and young age were typical for smaller tumor mass phenotypes, but there was no gender bias for larger or multiple tumor phenotypes. Typical serum GGTP and ALKP levels increased linearly with tumor mass, but the AFP patterns were more complex. The relationship of serum AFP to GGTP and of albumin to bilirubin, help identify tumor mass phenotypes. Conclusions: Hepatitis-associated small HCCs diagnosed by surveillance demonstrate several phenotypic subsets, with serum GGTP increasing and albumin decreasing with increasing tumor mass in many patients. Elevated serum GGTP, AFP or ALKP, regardless of bilirubin level, in a patient with hepatitis is a flag for radiology for early HCC diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1334-1342
Number of pages9
Issue number109
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • GGTP
  • HCC
  • Small tumors
  • Surveillance
  • Tumor mass

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatology


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