Background. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) has been performed as a first line curative treatment modality for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) within the Milan criteria currently. However, prognosis of hepatitis B- and hepatitis C-related HCC after RFA remains debatable. This study aimed to assess the impact of viral etiology on the prognosis of HCC patients undergoing RFA. Material and methods. One hundred and ninety-two patients with positive serum HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) and negative serum antibody against HCV (anti-HCV) were enrolled as the B-HCC group and 165 patients with negative serum HBsAg and positive anti-HCV as the C-HCC group. Post-RFA prognoses were compared between the two groups using multivariate and propensity score matching analyses. Results. The B-HCC group had higher male-to-female ratio and better liver functional reserve than the C-HCC group. After a median follow-up of 23.0 ± 22.7 months, 55 patients died and 189 patients had tumor recurrence after RFA. The cumulative fiveyear survival rate was 75.9% and 69.5% in the B-HCC and C-HCC groups, respectively (p = 0.312), while the five-year recurrence-free survival rate was 19.0% and 26.6%, respectively (p = 0.490). After propensity-score matching, the B-HCC group still had comparable overall survival rate (p = 0.679) and recurrence-free survival rate (p = 0.689) to the C-HCC group. For 132 patients with Barcelona-Clinic Liver Cancer stage 0, the fiveyear overall survival and recurrence-free survival rates were also comparable between the two groups (p = 0.559 and p = 0.872, respectively). Conclusion. Viral etiology is not essential for determining outcome in HCC patients undergoing RFA.
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