2016 Volume 55 Issue 19 Pages 2749-2758
Objective To manage patients with viral hepatitis, it is important to screen for hepatitis, conduct a comprehensive examination if such screening is positive, administer antiviral treatment, and conduct surveillance for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The proper execution of this strategy is expected to effectively reduce the number of deaths from viral hepatitis. Such an "optimal" follow-up for HCC surveillance is therefore important. This study aimed to determine the benefits of performing an optimal follow-up of patients with viral hepatitis.
Methods The subjects were infected with the hepatitis virus and were initially diagnosed with or treated for HCC from 2004-2012. We retrospectively analyzed the history of a patient's current illness using the hospital discharge summary. To minimize any lead-time bias, we calculated the corrected survival for patients who received an optimal follow-up.
Results Of 333 patients, 107 (32.1%) did not receive an optimal follow-up and thus had low cumulative survival rates in comparison to those who did. The median corrected survival was 51.5 months for patients with an optimal follow-up compared with 31.4 months for those without (p=0.011). A multivariate analysis revealed that AFP <35 [odds ratio (OR), 2.054], Child-Pugh A (OR, 2.488), and an optimal follow-up (OR, 4.539) were independent factors associated with the detection of early-stage HCC. Age (OR, 0.939), tumor stage I/II (OR, 6.918), and an optimal follow-up (OR, 3.213) were found to be independent factors associated with receiving curative treatment.
Conclusion An optimal follow-up of patients with viral hepatitis independently increased the detection of early-stage HCC and the administration of curative treatment. Patients with an optimal follow-up survived longer than those without.