The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in our geographic area, and to determine if there is a correlation between HCV genotypes and the development of HCC.METHODS
Thirty-six patients with HCV-related HCC and 35 controls with HCV-associated cirrhosis without HCC were studied. The diagnosis of HCV infection was performed by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test for the detection of anti-HCV antibodies and by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction for the detection of HCV-RNA. HCV genotyping was performed by line probe assay-Inno-LIPA HCV II. The diagnosis of underlying disease in the patients with HCC was performed on the basis of clinical, biochemical or histological evidence.RESULTS
Genotype 1b was found in 28 (77.77%) patients with HCC, and in 16 (45.71%) controls. There was significant difference in the prevalence of genotype 1b between the patients with HCC and those with cirrhosis without HCC (P < 0.05). Having analyzed the diagnosis of underlying diseases, underlying cirrhosis in 29 (80.55%) and chronic active hepatitis in 7 (19.44%) patients with HCC was found.CONCLUSION
Results of the present study suggest that there is a correlation between HCV genotype 1b and the development of HCC. Our findings also add support to the hypothesis that cirrhosis is a major step in liver carcinogenesis associated with HCV, which suggests an indirect role of HCV in the pathogenesis of HCC.