A team from Germany analyzed all hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients admitted to the University of Erlangen-Nuernberg Hospital between 1988 and 1999.
They documented etiology, stage (HCC: Okuda and UICC classifications, liver cirrhosis: Child-Pugh score), and diagnostic and therapeutic measures of 281 consecutive HCC patients.
Survival time was calculated as a function of staging and therapy.
| Okuda classification of HCC is superior to UICC classification.
Cirrhosis was diagnosed in all of the patients.
Some 72 patients underwent liver resection, 28 liver transplantation, 31 transarterial chemoembolization, and 14 percutaneous ethanol injection.
Of the patients, 136 received no treatment.
The authors found that the Okuda and the Child-Pugh classification predicted a significant decrease of median survival time, whereas the UICC classification was less powerful.
Christoph Herold, of the Department of Medicine at the University of Erlangen-Nuernberg, said on behalf of his colleagues, "HCC occurred only in patients with liver cirrhosis.
"Survival time correlated with therapy (or no therapy) and with the Child-Pugh Score."
"In European patients, the Okuda classification is superior to the UICC classification and should be compared to novel classification systems," he concluded.