Association of Preoperative Antiviral Treatment With Incidences of Microvascular Invasion and Early Tumor Recurrence in Hepatitis B Virus–Related Hepatocellular Carcinoma

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ImportanceA reduced incidence of microvascular invasion (MVI) in hepatitis B virus (HBV)–related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) may be associated with a decreased risk of early tumor recurrence and better survival after partial hepatectomy.ObjectiveTo examine the association of preoperative antiviral treatment (AVT) with the incidences of MVI and posthepatectomy early tumor recurrence in HBV-related HCC.Design, Setting, and ParticipantsData on a cohort of 2362 patients who underwent R0 resection for HBV-related HCC between January 2008 and April 2010 at the Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China, were reviewed. The median (interquartile range) postoperative follow-up was 44.8 (22.8-59.3) months. Data were analyzed from June 2016 to October 2017.InterventionsPreoperative AVT and partial hepatectomy.Main Outcomes and MeasuresOverall survival and time to recurrence after surgery were calculated and compared using the Kaplan-Meier method, log-rank test, and Cox regression analysis. Independent risk factors of MVI presence were assessed by logistic regression analysis.ResultsAmong 2362 included patients, 1999 (84.6%) were men, and the median (interquartile range) age was 50.6 (43.1-57.3) years. A total of 2036 patients (86.2%) did not receive any preoperative AVT, while 326 (13.8%) received ongoing AVT more than 90 days before surgery. In the non-AVT group, compared with a preoperative HBV DNA level of less than 2000 IU/mL, a preoperative HBV DNA level of 2000 IU/mL or greater was associated with an increased risk of MVI (odds ratio [OR], 1.399; 95% CI, 1.151-1.701). Compared with the non-AVT group, patients receiving AVT had a lower incidence of MVI (38.7% [126 of 326] vs 48.6% [989 of 2036]; P = .001) and reduced risk of MVI (OR, 0.758; 95% CI, 0.575-0.998). A complete response to AVT was an independent protective factor of MVI (OR, 0.690; 95% CI, 0.500-0.952). Accordingly, preoperative AVT was associated with decreased 6-month, 1-year, and 2-year recurrences vs non-AVT (14.2%, 24.6%, and 38.5%, respectively, vs 23.4%, 37.1%, and 52.3%; P < .001); AVT was protective of early tumor recurrence (hazard ratio, 0.732; 95% CI, 0.605-0.886). In addition, patients in the non-AVT group were more likely to have multiple intrahepatic recurrences (49.1% [549 of 1119] vs 36.2% [54 of 149]; P = .003) and recurrences involving multiple hepatic segments compared with patients receiving AVT.Conclusions and RelevanceA high preoperative HBV DNA level was an independent risk factor of MVI. Antiviral treatment administered more than 90 days before surgery was associated with reduced incidences of MVI and early tumor recurrence after partial hepatectomy for HBV-related HCC.

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