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Simple score to predict risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in chronic hepatitis C patients with advanced fibrosis after pegylated interferon and ribavirin therapy

Authors Hu CC, Weng CH, Chang LC, Lin CL, Chen YT, Hu CF, Hua MC, Chen LW, Chien RN

Received 30 November 2017

Accepted for publication 3 March 2018

Published 30 April 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 783—791


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Deyun Wang

Ching-Chih Hu,1,2 Cheng-Hao Weng,2,3 Liang-Che Chang,4 Chih-Lang Lin,1,2 Yen-Ting Chen,1 Ching-Fang Hu,5 Man-Chin Hua,2,6 Li-Wei Chen,1 Rong-Nan Chien2,7

1Department of Hepatogastroenterology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Keelung, Taiwan; 2College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Linkou, Taiwan; 3Department of Nephrology and Poison Center, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou, Taiwan; 4Department of Pathology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Keelung, Taiwan; 5Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Keelung, Taiwan; 6Department of Pediatrics, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Keelung, Taiwan; 7Department of Hepatogastroenterology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou, Taiwan

Purpose: Eradication of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) after interferon-based therapy and its association with the reduction of risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in HCV-infected patients with advanced fibrosis is controversial. The study is aimed to develop a simple scoring model for HCC prediction among advanced fibrotic chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients after pegylated interferon (pegIFN) and ribavirin (RBV) therapy.
Patients and methods: We enrolled 271 biopsy-proven CHC patients with advanced fibrosis between 2003 and 2016, and divided them into non-HCC (n=211) and HCC (n=60) groups. The median observation duration was 6.0 years (range: 0.9–12.6 years).
Results: The HCC prevalence after pegIFN and RBV therapy in CHC patients with sustained virologic response (SVR) and without SVR was 14.7% and 32.2%, respectively. Multivariate Cox regression showed age ≥59.5 years old at initiation of therapy (HR: 2.542, 95% CI: 1.390–4.650, P=0.002), pretreatment total bilirubin ≥1.1 mg/dL (HR: 2.630, 95% CI: 1.420–4.871, P=0.002), pretreatment platelet counts <146.5 × 103/µL (HR: 2.751, 95% CI: 1.373–5.511, P=0.004), no achievement of SVR (HR: 2.331, 95% CI: 1.277–4.253, P=0.006), and no diabetes at treatment initiation (HR: 3.085, 95% CI: 1.283–7.418, P=0.012) were significant predictors of HCC development. The scoring model consisted of the five categorical predictors and had an optimal cutoff point of 2.5. The area under receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) of the scoring model was 0.774±0.035 (P<0.001). The sensitivity and specificity of the cutoff value to detect HCC were 81.3% and 57.5%. The 5-year and 10-year cumulative incidence of HCC was 4.9% and 10.0% in patients with simple score ≤2; and 25.9% and 44.6% in patients with simple score ≥3 (P<0.001).
Conclusion: The simple clinical-guided score has high discriminatory power for HCC prediction in advanced fibrotic CHC patients after pegIFN and RBV therapy.

Keywords: HCC, HCV, advanced fibrosis, SVR, score, cumulative incidence

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