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 23 May 2018

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News

Hepatitis B-related hepatocellular carcinoma

Young patients with hepatocellular carcinoma often show a later presentation, finds a team of physicians in the April issue of Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

News image

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In this study, physicians from Hong Kong compared the clinico-pathological features of hepatitis B virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma in young and old patients.

The team assessed 1863 consecutive patients (121 patients were 40 years of age, 1742 patients were over 40) seen at a single institution over a 13 year period.

The team found that young patients presented more frequently with pain, hepatomegaly, and ruptured hepatocellular carcinoma. The older patients presented with ankle edema, ascites and by routine screening.
Surgical resection rates were similar between the 2 groups.
Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Liver function, Child-Pugh grading and indocyanine green test were better preserved in young patients. They also had a higher alpha-fetoprotein concentration, larger tumor size, and more frequent metastasis.

The team determined that surgical resection rates were similar between the 2 groups (34% versus 28%).

There was also no difference between the 2 groups in the overall post-resection survival rate.

However, young patients with unresectable disease tended to have shorter survival.

Dr Lam and colleagues concluded, "Young patients with hepatocellular carcinoma often show a later presentation, but a higher resectability rate and similar survival rates, than old patients".

"The screening program should include young hepatitis B virus carriers, even in the absence of cirrhosis".

Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2004; 19(7): 771-7
25 March 2004

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