Characteristics, aetiologies and trends of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients without cirrhosis: a United States multicentre study

Samer Gawrieh, Lara Dakhoul, Ethan Miller, Andrew Scanga, Andrew deLemos, Carla Kettler, Heather Burney, Hao Liu, Hamzah Abu-Sbeih, Naga Chalasani, Julia Wattacheril

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Background: Limited data exist on the burden and features of non-cirrhotic hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the United States. Aim: To evaluate characteristics, aetiologies, trends and outcomes of non-cirrhotic HCC from 2000 to 2014 at five large US centres. Methods: Patient, tumour and liver disease aetiology data were collected. The presence of underlying cirrhosis was assessed based on published criteria. Results: Of 5144 eligible patients with HCC, 11.7% had no underlying cirrhosis. Non-cirrhotic patients were older (64.1 vs 61.2 years), more frequently females (33.9% vs 20.8%) and less frequently black (8.3% vs 12.4%) (P <.001 for all). Among non-cirrhotic patients, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) was the most common liver disease (26.3%), followed by hepatitis C virus (HCV) (12.1%) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) (10%) infections. As of 2014, there was increased percentage of cirrhotic HCC and a decline in non-cirrhotic HCC mainly due to significant annual increases in cirrhotic HCC due to HCV (0.96% [P <.0001]) and NAFLD (0.66% [P =.003]). Patients with non-cirrhotic HCC had larger tumours (8.9 vs 5.3 cm), were less frequently within Milan criteria (15% vs 39%), more frequently underwent resection (43.6% vs 8%) (P <.001 for all) and had better overall survival than cirrhotic HCC patients (median 1.8 vs 1.3 years, P =.004). Conclusions: Nearly 12% of HCCs occurred in patients without underlying cirrhosis. NAFLD was the most common liver disease in these patients. During the study, the frequency of non-cirrhotic HCC decreased, whereas that of cirrhotic HCC increased. Although non-cirrhotic patients presented with more advanced HCC, their survival was better.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)809-821
Number of pages13
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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