Increased Risk for Hepatocellular Carcinoma Persists Up to 10 Years After HCV Eradication in Patients With Baseline Cirrhosis or High FIB-4 Scores.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND & AIMS:It is unclear if hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) risk declines over time after hepatitis C virus (HCV) eradication. We analyzed changes in HCC annual incidence over time following HCV eradication and identified dynamic markers of HCC risk. METHODS:We identified 48,135 patients who initiated HCV antiviral treatment from 2000 through 2015 and achieved a sustained virologic response (SVR) in the Veterans Health Administration (29,033 treated with direct-acting antiviral [DAA] agents and 19,102 treated with interferon-based regimens). Patients were followed after treatment until February 14, 2019 (average 5.4 years), during which 1509 incident HCCs were identified. RESULTS:Among patients with cirrhosis before treatment with DAAs (n = 9784), those with pre-SVR fibrosis-4 (FIB-4) scores ?3.25 had a higher annual incidence of HCC (3.66%/year) than those with FIB-4 scores <3.25 (1.16%/year) (adjusted hazard ratio 2.14; 95% confidence interval 1.66-2.75). In DAA-treated patients with cirrhosis and FIB-4 scores ?3.25, annual HCC risk decreased from 3.8%/year in the first year after SVR to 2.4%/year by the fourth year (P=.01). In interferon-treated patients with FIB-4 scores ?3.25, annual HCC risk remained above 2%/year, even 10 years after SVR. A decrease in FIB-4 scores from ?3.25 pre-SVR to <3.25 post-SVR was associated with an approximately 50% lower risk of HCC, but the absolute annual risk remained above 2%/year. Patients without cirrhosis before treatment (n = 38,351) had a low risk of HCC, except for those with pre-SVR FIB-4 scores ?3.25 (HCC risk 1.22%/year) and post-SVR FIB-4 scores ?3.25 (HCC risk 2.39%/year); risk remained high for many years after SVR. CONCLUSIONS:Patients with cirrhosis before an SVR to treatment for HCV infection continue to have a high risk for HCC (>2%/year) for many years, even if their FIB-4 score decreases, and should continue surveillance. Patients without cirrhosis but with FIB-4 scores ?3.25 have a high enough risk to merit HCC surveillance, especially if FIB-4 remains ?3.25 post-SVR.
PROVIDER: S-EPMC6815714 | BioStudies |