Purpose: Although advanced liver fibrosis is crucial in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) for patients with chronic hepatitis B, whether it is associated with the recurrence of HCC after resection remains obscure. This study was aimed to compare the outcomes for patients with minimal or advanced fibrosis in solitary small hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related HCC. Methods: This study enrolled 76 patients with small (<5 cm) solitary HBV-related HCC who underwent resection. The outcomes of patients with minimal and advanced fibrosis in non-tumor areas were compared. Serum markers were tested to assess the stage of hepatic fibrosis and to predict prognosis. Results: Fourteen patients with an Ishak fibrosis score of 0 or 1 were defined as having minimal fibrosis; the remaining 62 patients were defined as having advanced fibrosis. During a follow-up period of 77.0 ± 50.7 months, 41 patients died. The overall survival rate was significantly higher (P = 0.018) and recurrence rate was lower (P = 0.018) for patients in the minimal fibrosis group. Aspartate aminotransferase-platelet ratio index (APRI) exhibited the most reliable discriminative ability for predicting advanced fibrosis. The overall survival rate was significantly higher (P = 0.003) and recurrence rate was lower (P = 0.005) for patients with an APRI of 0.47 or less. Conclusions: For patients with solitary small HBV-related HCC who underwent resection, minimal fibrosis is associated with a lower incidence of recurrence and with better survival. APRI could serve as a reliable marker for assessing hepatic fibrosis and predicting survival.
- Aspartate aminotransferase-platelet ratio index
- Hepatitis B virus
- Hepatocellular carcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas