Barriers to Surveillance for Hepatocellular Carcinoma in a Multicenter Cohort

Neehar D. Parikh, Nabihah Tayob, Taim Al-Jarrah, Jennifer Kramer, Jennifer Melcher, Donna Smith, Patrick Marquardt, Po Hong Liu, Runlong Tang, Fasiha Kanwal, Amit G. Singal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Importance: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) surveillance is underused in clinical practice, which may be owing to patient and clinician barriers. Objective: To characterize HCC surveillance barriers and associations with clinical outcomes in a multicenter cohort of patients with cirrhosis. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective, multicenter cohort study included 5 medical centers in the United States. Patients with cirrhosis and newly diagnosed HCC treated from 2014 to 2018 were included. Data were analyzed from June 2021 to February 2022. Exposure: Surveillance completion in the 36-month period prior to HCC diagnosis. Main Outcomes and Measures: Surveillance receipt was classified as semiannual, annual, or no surveillance. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with semiannual surveillance. We conducted multivariable logistic and Cox regression analyses to characterize associations between surveillance completion with curative treatment and overall survival. Results: A total 629 eligible patients (median [IQR] age, 63.6 [56.2-71.0] years; 491 [78.1%] men) were assessed, including 7 American Indian or Alaska Native patients (1.1%), 14 Asian patients (2.2), 176 Black patients (28.0%), 86 Hispanic patients (13.1%), and 340 White patients (54.1%). Nearly two-thirds of the cohort had no surveillance prior to HCC diagnosis (mean [range by site] 63.7% [37.9%-80.4%]), with a mean (range by site) of 14.0% (5.3%-33.3%) of patients having received semiannual surveillance and 22.3% (14.3%-28.8%) of patients having received annual surveillance. The most common reasons for no surveillance were lack of surveillance orders or nonadherence (mean [range by site], 82.4% [66.7%-92.4%], although a mean (range by site) of 17.6% (10.2%-22.1%) of patients had unrecognized cirrhosis at HCC presentation. Semiannual surveillance was associated with hepatitis B infection (odds ratio [OR], 3.06 [95% CI, 1.24-7.23]) and inversely associated with Black race (OR, 0.41 [95% CI, 0.20-0.80]) and lack of cirrhosis recognition (OR, 0.14 [95% CI, 0.02-0.46]). Semiannual HCC surveillance was significantly associated with curative treatment receipt (OR, 2.73 [95% CI, 1.60-4.70]) but not overall survival (HR, 0.81 [95% CI, 0.55-1.18]). Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study of patients with cirrhosis, HCC surveillance was underused in more than 80% of patients and associated with failures across the screening process. Dedicated programs to improve cirrhosis detection and HCC surveillance attainment are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E2223504
JournalJAMA Network Open
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 22 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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