Background: Chronic hepatitis B (HBV) and cirrhosis are major risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The proportion and characteristics of cases with cirrhosis are not well documented. Aim: Our aim was to compare demographic, viral and tumour characteristics of HBV-associated HCC in an Australian cohort, in patients with and without cirrhosis. Methods: Existing HCC databases at six Melbourne teaching hospitals were reviewed for cases associated with HBV. Patient demographics, HBV viral characteristics, presence of cirrhosis, serum alpha-fetoprotein and tumour size were assessed. Mode of diagnosis was recorded through surveillance or symptoms, and treatment was either palliative, percutaneous or surgical. Results: We identified 197 cases of HBV-related HCC. The mean age was 57.9 ± 12.9 years; 83% were male, and 55.3% and 35.3% were of Asian and European descent respectively. Of 168 patient with available data, 146 (87%) had cirrhosis versus 22 (13%) without. Patients with cirrhosis tended to be older (median 60 vs 52 years, P = 0.078). Asian patients were more likely to have HCC without cirrhosis than Europeans (17% vs 6%, P = 0.04). There were no other differences identified between cirrhotic and non-cirrhotic patients. Thirty-four per cent of patients had tumours greater than 5cm at diagnosis, and 47% were diagnosed after presenting with symptoms. Twelve patients with HBV-HCC were outside current screening guidelines. Conclusion: Most patients in Melbourne with HBV-associated HCC have cirrhosis. HCC characteristics in non-cirrhotic and cirrhotic patients were similar. The large number of patients detected through symptoms and with large tumours reinforces the need for vigilance in screening.
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatocellular carcinoma