Hong Kong Med J 2011;17:11–9 | Number 1, February 2011
Hepatocarcinogenesis of regenerative and dysplastic nodules in Chinese patients
CH Ng, SW Chan, WK Lee, Lawrence Lai, KH Lok, KK Li, SH Luk, ML Szeto
Department of Medicine, Tuen Mun Hospital, Tuen Mun, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVES. To determine the development rate of hepatocellular carcinoma and survival of patients diagnosed to have regenerative, and low-grade and high-grade dysplastic liver nodules.
DESIGN. Retrospective descriptive study.
SETTING. Acute public hospital, Hong Kong.
PATIENTS. Patients with non-malignant liver nodules confirmed by imagingguided liver biopsy between January 1997 and December 2008.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES. Rates of hepatocellular carcinoma development and survival.
RESULTS. A total of 147 patients with non-malignant liver nodules were followed up over a median duration of 29 months. The initial histological diagnosis included regenerative nodules (n=74), low-grade dysplastic nodules (n=34), and high-grade dysplastic nodules (n=39). The respective cumulative hepatocellular carcinoma development rate during the first, second, third, and fourth year were 3%, 5%, 9% and 12% for simple regenerative nodules, 29%, 35%, 38% and 44% for low-grade dysplastic nodules, and 38%, 41%, 51% and 51% for high-grade dysplastic nodules. The hepatocellular carcinoma development rate was highest in those with high-grade dysplastic nodules. Multivariate analysis showed that histological dysplastic changes were associated with increased alpha-fetoprotein levels and advanced age, which were both independent predictors of hepatocellular carcinoma development. Histological dysplastic changes, male sex, advanced age, prolonged prothrombin time, and ultrasound appearances were independent predictors of mortality.
CONCLUSION. The presence of dysplastic change in liver nodules increased the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma development and death.
Key words: Carcinoma, hepatocellular; Cell transformation, neoplastic; Liver cirrhosis; Liver neoplasms; Survival rate
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