Indexed on: 19 Oct '17Published on: 19 Oct '17Published in: Liver International
Although hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections remain major risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), non-viral causes of HCC, particularly non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, are becoming increasingly prevalent. The aim of this study was to compare the clinical characteristics and survival of cryptogenic and viral HCC.We conducted a retrospective cohort study involving 3,878 consecutive HCC patients seen at two tertiary centers in the United States and one in Taiwan from 2004-2014. We compared the clinical characteristics, treatment and survival of patients by underlying etiology: cryptogenic (n=696), HBV (n=1,304), or HCV (n=1,878).Cirrhosis was present in 66.8% of the cryptogenic HCC patients, compared with 74.7% of HBV-HCC (p=0.001) and 85.9% of HCV-HCC (p<0.001). Compared to viral HCC, cryptogenic HCC patients presented with larger tumors and at later stages of disease. Five-year overall survival was 16.3% among cryptogenic HCC patients compared with 31.9% among HBV-HCC patients and 27.7% among HCV-HCC patients (p<0.001 for both by the log-rank test). HCC etiology was not an independent predictor of survival, though ethnicity, cirrhosis status, meeting Milan criteria and treatment allocation were.Compared with viral HCC patients, those with cryptogenic HCC had lower prevalence of cirrhosis, were diagnosed with larger tumors at more advanced stages of disease, and had poorer overall survival. Additional efforts are needed to identify patients at risk of cryptogenic HCC and to identify cryptogenic HCC at earlier stages of disease. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.