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Wiley, Hepatology, 4(50), p. 1162-1168, 2009

DOI: 10.1002/hep.23095



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Incidence, Risk Factors, and Survival of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Primary Biliary Cirrhosis: Comparative Analysis from Two Centers

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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The limited information and divergent results on the prevalence, incidence, and risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) may be due to the low prevalence of the disease and geographical and environmental differences. Therefore, we analyzed the incidence, prevalence, survival, and risk factors for HCC in patients with PBC from two European centers (389 from Barcelona, Spain, and 327 from Padova, Italy) followed up for 9.3 +/- 6.5 years. Gender, age, smoking habit, alcohol consumption, presence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) or hepatitis C virus antibodies (anti-HCV), and advanced histological stage (III-IV) were evaluated as risk factors for tumor development. Twenty-four patients (13 from Barcelona and 11 from Padova) developed HCC. The prevalence of HCC was similar in Barcelona (3.34%) and Padova (3.36%). The incidence was 0.35 and 0.37 per 100 patient-years, respectively. Male gender, age >52 years, smoking habit, alcohol >40 g/day, HBsAg, and anti-HCV were not associated with HCC. Advanced histological stage was the only factor associated with the development of HCC (odds ratio [OR]: 5.80, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.34-14.38, P < 0.001). When analyzing the two series separately, male gender was associated with higher likelihood of HCC in Padova (OR: 8.09, 95% CI: 1.93-33.8, P < 0.01). The median survival after the diagnosis of HCC was 36 months. CONCLUSION: The prevalence and incidence of HCC is similar in Spain and Italy and the advanced histological stage is the only risk factor associated with the development of HCC in PBC. The slight disparities observed between the two series might be explained by patient features on diagnosis of liver disease.