Risk factors for hepatitis B virus reactivation after conformal radiotherapy in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma

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This study investigated whether conformal radiotherapy affects hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation, and the risk factors for HBV reactivation in patients with HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Sixty-nine patients with HCC were included in this retrospective study. Before radiotherapy (RT), all patients underwent imaging examinations and some baseline examinations, including CBC, liver function test, renal function test, α-fetoprotein level, hepatitis B (HB) surface antigen, HB surface Ab, HB e antigen, HB e Ab, and serum HBV DNA quantification. During the period of RT and at least 16 weeks after the end of RT, CBCs were carried out weekly and the other tests were monitored monthly or more frequently if necessary. The clinical features and dosimetric parameters of RT were recorded. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression algorithms were used to analyze the risk factors of HBV reactivation. The incidence of complications in the study population was as follows: radiation-induced liver disease, 17.4%; HBV reactivation, 24.6%; and HBV reactivation-induced hepatitis, 21.7%. The HBV DNA level and dose volume parameters including normal liver volume, V20, and mean dose were associated with HBV reactivation. There was a relatively high incidence of HBV reactivation in HCC patients after the end of conformal RT. The serum HBV DNA level and some dosimetric parameters related to normal liver, including normal liver volume, V20, and mean dose, were the prognosis factors of HBV reactivation and should be carefully considered before conformal RT.

Hepatitis following systemic chemotherapy has been reported in 60%, which is mostly attributed to HBV reactivation. In recent years, 3D-CRT and IMRT are widely and increasingly used in HCC patients. However, whether HBV reactivation could be observed in HCC patients after radiotherapy and what are the risk factors for HBV reactivation are not clear. The study is an assessment of the occurrence condition and risk factors for HBV reactivation in HCC patients after precise radiotherapy.

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