Background: A strong association between chronic hepatitis C (CHC) and hepatic steatosis has been reported. However, the influence of steatohepatitis on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after hepatitis C virus (HCV) elimination remains unclear. Aim: To evaluate the development of HCC after HCV cure using a new steatohepatitis-related biomarker. Methods: This cohort study analysed the prospective database of 290 CHC patients without a history of HCC who achieved HCV elimination by direct-acting antivirals. We calculated the FibroScan-aspartate aminotransferase (FAST) score 12 weeks after the end of treatment (pw12). The risk of HCC was analysed using the multivariable Cox proportional hazard model. Results: HCV genotype (GT)1 was most prevalent at 72.4%, followed by GT2 (26.6%). Median follow-up period was 4.2 years (IQR 3.1-4.5). The cumulative HCC incidence for a FAST score ≥ 0.35 was significantly higher than that for a FAST score < 0.35 (log-rank test: P < 0.001). The annual HCC incidence rate for a FAST score ≥ 0.35 was significantly higher than that for a FAST score < 0.35, in patients with liver stiffness measurement (LSM) ≥10 kPa (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 4.41, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.30-15.0, P = 0.018). After adjusting for variables, including age, albumin, alpha-fetoprotein, the patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing the 3 (PNPLA3) rs738409 genotype, and pw12 fibrosis markers with FIB-4, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease fibrosis score, and LSM, FAST score ≥ 0.35 was associated with the development of HCC (adjusted HR 4.42, 95% CI 1.02-19.9, P = 0.043). Conclusions: Steatohepatitis-related biomarkers with the FAST score are helpful for predicting the development of HCC after HCV elimination.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmacology (medical)