Reduced risk of hepatocellular carcinoma by achieving a subcirrhotic liver stiffness through antiviral agents in hepatitis B virus-related advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis

The Korean Transient Elastography Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Aim: A subcirrhotic range of liver stiffness (sc-LS), assessed by transient elastography, is associated with better outcomes in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB). We investigated whether the achievement of sc-LS by antiviral therapy (AVT) reduced the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with CHB-related advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis. Methods: In total, 209 patients with CHB-related advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis, who received paired transient elastography examinations during AVT between 2007 and 2012, were enrolled. The cut-off LS value for ultrasonographic cirrhosis was defined as 11.6 kPa. Results: The median age of the study population was 51 years, with males predominating (n = 138, 66.0%). The median LS value at enrollment was 14.1 kPa (interquartile range: 9.5–24.1 kPa). After 2 years of AVT, 140 (67.0%) patients achieved sc-LS. During the study period, 28 (13.4%) patients developed HCC after 2 years of AVT. On multivariate analysis, the achievement of sc-LS after AVT was independently associated with a decreased risk of HCC development (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.485, P = 0.047), whereas older age (HR = 1.071) and male gender (HR = 3.704) were independently associated with an increased HCC risk (both P < 0.05). Patients with a cirrhotic range of LS value after 2 years of AVT were at a higher risk of HCC development than those with sc-LS (log-rank test, P = 0.020). Conclusions: The achievement of sc-LS after AVT can reduce the risk of HCC development in patients with CHB, even when advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis is apparent on starting AVT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-510
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb 1



  • antiviral therapy
  • cirrhosis
  • hepatitis B
  • hepatocellular carcinoma
  • liver fibrosis
  • liver stiffness
  • transient elastography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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