Purpose: This retrospective study aimed to investigate the clinical characteristics and long-term outcomes after hepatectomy in patients with non-B, non-C (NBNC) hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who were negative for hepatitis B virus surface antigen and anti–hepatitis C virus antibody. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 666 patients with HCC who underwent hepatectomy. The patients were divided into NBNC-HCC patients [n = 117 (17.6 %)] and hepatitis virus (HV)-HCC patients [n = 547 (82.4 %)]. We compared the clinicopathologic characteristics and long-term outcomes between the 2 groups. Two patients with incomplete virus-marker data were not analyzed. Results: NBNC-HCC patients had better liver function but more advanced and larger HCCs and a high incidence of intrahepatic metastasis compared to HV-HCC patients. Recurrence-free and overall survival were similar in both groups. Multivariate analysis showed that aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and α-fetoprotein were independently associated with disease-free and overall survival in NBNC-HCC patients after hepatectomy. High AST was significantly associated with tumor size and rate of capsule formation with cancer cell infiltration in NBNC-HCC patients, but not with other liver function tests, fibrosis, or necrosis of noncancerous lesions. Conclusions: NBNC-HCC patients have better liver function than HV-HCC patients, despite having more advanced HCC at diagnosis. There were no differences in long-term outcomes after hepatectomy between NBNC-HCC and HV-HCC patients. Preoperative AST and α-fetoprotein were independently associated with the prognosis of NBNC-HCC after hepatectomy. Serum AST levels might be associated with tumor malignancy in NBNC-HCC patients.
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