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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 544-550

Serum markers for the early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with chronic viral hepatitis C infection

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Menoufia, Egypt
2 Department of Clinical Pathology, National Liver Institute, Menoufia, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Alaa Efat Hasan
Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Yassin Abdel-Ghaffar St from Gamal Abd-Elnasser St, Shebin Al-Kom, Menoufia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1110-2098.145509

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Objective The aim of this study was to identify the serum markers and the use of abdominal ultrasound for early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with chronic viral hepatitis C virus infection. Background HCC meets the criteria of a tumor that would benefit from a surveillance program, but the poor sensitivity and specificity of currently available tools have prevented widespread implementation of surveillance. Patients and methods This study included 110 patients, age from 23 to 70 years, from Menoufia University hospitals during the period from July 2011 to November 2013. They were classified into three groups: group I, non-HCC group (50 patients); group II, HCC group (40 patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection); and group III, healthy controls (20 individuals). Members of the study were subjected to thorough history taking, complete physical examination, liver function testing (serum bilirubin, albumin, prothrombin time, serum transaminases), serum α-fetoprotein (α-FP), and transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) level. Group I was subjected to serum TGF-β1 at 0-, 9-, and 18-month intervals. Results The mean age was 46.72 ± 9.03 years in the non-HCC group (group I), 58.70 ± 5.76 years in the HCC group (group II), and 42.15 ± 11.33 years in the control group (group III). The mean serum level of TGF-β1 was 232.25 ± 70.53 ng/ml in the HCC group, 42.16 ± 13.34 ng/ml in the non-HCC group, and 13.92 ± 7.73 ng/ml in the control group; there was a highly significant difference between all groups (P < 0.001). The mean value of α-FP was 334.40 ± 311.30 ng/ml in group II and 4.82 ± 2.18 ng/ml in group I; the HCC group had a shooting serum level of α-FP with a highly statistically significant difference. Conclusion This study recommends TGF-β1 as being more accurate than α-FP in differentiating patients with HCC from those with nonmalignant chronic liver disease.

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