Role of Hepatitis B Viral Load and Basal Core Promoter Mutation in Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Hepatitis B Carriers

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Several hepatitis B viral factors correlate with the progression of chronic liver disease. However, the independent and interactive effects of each known viral factor on the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remain largely unknown.


In a cross-sectional, retrospective, hospital-based setting, we comprehensively compared viral factors in 160 chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) carriers and 200 patients with HCC, to clarify the independent and joint effect of each factor.


In univariate analysis, statistically significant odds ratios (ORs) were obtained for male sex (P<.001), advanced age (P<.001), HBV genotype C infection (P=.005), the precore A1896 mutation (P<.001), and the basal core promoter (BCP) T1762/A1764 mutation (P<.001). According to the results of multiple logistic-regression analysis, advanced age, male sex, the precore A1896 mutation, the BCP T1762/A1764 mutation, and an HBV load ≥105 copies/mL were independently associated with the development of HCC. Compared with patients with an HBV load <105 copies/mL and the BCP A1762/G1764 wild-type strain, the adjusted OR of developing HCC was ≥30 in patients with an HBV load ≥105 copies/mL and the BCP T1762/A1764 mutant, irrespective of the presence of the precore A1896 mutation and viral genotype.


HBV load and the BCP T1762/A1764 mutation are important in hepatocarcinogenesis.

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