Anti-hepatitis B core positivity as a risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma in alcoholic cirrhosis: A case-control study

Oh Sang Kwon, Young Kul Jung, Kyoung Suk Bae, Ju Hyun Kim, Sang Gyune Kim, Young Seok Kim, Jung Il Lee, Jin Woo Lee, Yun Soo Kim

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is occasionally developed in patients with alcoholic cirrhosis. Old age, male gender, lifetime quantity of alcohol, and presence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection are risk factors for HCC in alcoholic cirrhosis. In this study, we investigated whether anti-hepatitis B core (HBc) positivity or occult hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a risk factor for HCC in patients with alcoholic cirrhosis. Between January 2006 and August 2008, a total of 72 cirrhotic male patients with an initial diagnosis of HCC, hospitalized in three major hospitals in the Incheon area, were enrolled as cases. Another 72 cirrhotic male patients without HCC, who matched the cases by age (±3 years), were enrolled as controls. All cases and controls were negative for hepatitis B surface antigen and anti-HCV, but had history of chronic alcohol intake over 80. g per day. The clinical characteristics including presence of anti-HBc or serum HBV DNA (identified by nested polymerase chain reaction) were investigated. The mean age of both the cases and controls was 62 ± 10 years. The basal laboratory data, Child-Pugh scores, total lifetime alcohol intake (1459 ± 1364 versus 1641 ± 1045. kg), and detection rates of serum HBV DNA [31.7% (20/63) versus 29.9% (20/67)] of the cases and controls were not significantly different. However, the anti-HBc positivity rate was higher among the cases [86.1% (62/72)] than in the controls [66.7% (48/72); p= 0.005] and was the only significant risk factor for HCC (odds ratio; 3.1, 95% confidence interval; 1.354-7.098, p= 0.007). Anti-HBc positivity was identified as a risk factor for the development of HCC in patients with alcoholic cirrhosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-541
Number of pages5
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Sep
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcoholic cirrhosis
  • Case-control study
  • Hepatitis B core
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Risk factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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