Incidence of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Patients With HCV-Associated Cirrhosis Treated With Direct-Acting Antiviral Agents

Lydia Giannitrapani, Antonio Cascio, Barbara Maria Chiara Distefano, Vincenza Calvaruso, Salvatore Petta, Giuseppe Montalto, Anna Licata, Antonio Craxi, Giuseppe Cabibbo, Vito Di Marco, Calogero Camma', Andrea Averna, Fabio Tine', Federica Latteri, Giovanni Malizia, Giuseppa Caccamo, Giuseppina Anita Magro, Marco Barbara, Maria Luisa Mondello, Serafina Maimone

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Abstract

Background &amp; Aims: Studies have produced conflicting results of the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with hepatitis C virus–associated cirrhosis treated with direct-acting antivirals (DAAs). Data from clinics are needed to accurately assess the occurrence rate of HCC in patients with cirrhosis in the real world. Methods: We collected data from a large prospective study of 2,249 consecutive patients (mean age = 65.4 years, 56.9% male) with hepatitis C virus–associated cirrhosis (90.5% with Child-Pugh class A and 9.5% with Child-Pugh class B) treated with DAAs from March 2015 through July 2016 at 22 academic and community liver centers in Sicily, Italy. HCC occurrence was evaluated by Kaplan-Meier curves. Cox regression analysis was used to identify variables associated with HCC development. Results: A sustained virologic response (SVR) was achieved by 2,140 patients (total = 95.2%; 95.9% with Child Pugh class A and 88.3% with Child Pugh class B; P <.001). Seventy-eight patients (3.5%) developed HCC during a mean follow-up of 14 months (range = 6–24 months). At 1 year after exposure to DAAs, HCC developed in 2.1% of patients with Child-Pugh class A with an SVR and 6.6% of patients with no SVR and in 7.8% of patients with Child-Pugh class B with an SVR and 12.4% of patients with no SVR (P <.001 by log-rank test). Albumin level below 3.5 g/dL (hazard ratio = 1.77, 95% confidence interval = 1.12–2.82, P =.015), platelet count below 120 × 109/L (hazard ratio = 3.89, 95% confidence interval = 2.11–7.15, P <.001), and absence of an SVR (hazard ratio = 3.40, 95% confidence interval = 1.89–6.12, P <.001) were independently associated increased risk for HCC. The mean interval from exposure to DAAs to an HCC diagnosis was 9.8 months (range = 2–22 months) and did not differ significantly between patients with (n = 64, 9.2 months) and without (n = 14, 12.0 months) an SVR (P =.11). A larger proportion of patients with an SVR had a single HCC lesion (78% vs 50% without an SVR; P =.009) or an HCC lesion smaller than 3 cm (58% vs 28% without an SVR; P =.07). Conclusions: In an analysis of data from a large prospective study of patients with hepatitis C virus–associated compensated or decompensated cirrhosis, we found that the SVR to DAA treatment decreased the incidence of HCC over a mean follow-up of 14 months.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-421
Number of pages11
JournalGastroenterology
Volume155
Publication statusPublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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