From the Journals

No added risk of hepatic cancer in patients with hemophilia after successful HCV treatment



Research has shown that hepatitis C virus infections in patients with hemophilia lead to the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) at a relatively younger age than that in patients without hemophilia. However, hemophilia was not a significant risk factor for hepatocarcinogenesis after sustained virologic response (SVR) against HCV, according to Yosuke Inukai of Nagoya (Japan) University and colleagues.

The researchers assessed 699 patients who achieved SVR after HCV antiviral treatment: 78 patients with hemophilia (H group) and 621 patients without hemophilia (NH group). They examined patient characteristics, clinical outcomes, and the cumulative incidence of HCC after SVR, according to a report published online in Annals of Hepatology.

No added risk

Patients in the H-group were significantly younger and had a lower hepatic fibrosis score, compared with the NH group. Over a follow-up period of 7 years, there were no differences seen in the incidence of liver-related disease or overall death between the two groups. HCC was diagnosed in 4 patients in the H group and 36 patients in the NH group after SVR.

Multivariate analysis showed that male sex, patient age, and the presence of cirrhosis were significant risk factors for HCC incidence. However, after propensity-score matching that adjusted for the risk factors of HCC between the two groups, there was no significant difference seen in the cumulative incidence of HCC between the two groups.

Need for vigilance

The lack of a significant difference in the cumulative incidence of HCC after SVR or the long-term prognosis in patients with and without hemophilia, suggests that SVR could reduce the rates of liver carcinogenesis and liver disease–related mortality in both groups of patients, the researchers stated.

However: “Although there were no differences in overall survival, deaths from liver failure and bleeding events were observed in patients with hemophilia during the study period. Since the age in the H group at the time of starting antiviral treatment was 16 years younger than that in the NH group, careful observation is needed in patients with hemophilia even after eradication of HCV,” the researchers concluded.

The authors reported that they had no conflicts of interest.

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