Presentation and outcome of hepatocellular carcinoma in HIV-infected patients: A U.S.-Canadian multicenter study

Norbert Bräu, Rena K. Fox, Peiying Xiao, Kristen Marks, Zeenat Naqvi, Lynn E. Taylor, Anita Trikha, Morris Sherman, Mark S. Sulkowski, Douglas T. Dieterich, Michael O. Rigsby, Teresa L. Wright, Maria D. Hernandez, Mamta K. Jain, Gajendra K. Khatri, Richard K. Sterling, Maurizio Bonacini, Catherine A. Martyn, Ayse Aytaman, Josep M. LlovetSheldon T. Brown, Edmund J. Bini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

200 Scopus citations


Background/Aims: HIV-infected patients now live longer and often have complications of liver disease, especially with hepatitis B or C virus coinfection. Limited data are available on those with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Methods: A retrospective analysis from 1992 to 2005 in 6 centers identified 63 HIV-infected HCC patients. Controls were 226 consecutive HIV-negative HCC patients from four sites. Results: HIV-positive patients were younger than controls (52 vs. 64 years, p < 0.001), more commonly had chronic hepatitis B or C (97% vs. 73%, p < 0.001), were more frequently symptomatic (51% vs. 38%, p = 0.048), had a higher median alfa-fetoprotein level (227 vs. 51 ng/ml, p = 0.005), but a similar mean Child-Turcotte-Pugh score (7.0 vs. 7.5, p = 0.05) and HCC staging score (Barcelona-Clínic-Liver-Cancer stages C + D in 50% vs. 58%, p = 0.24). HCC developed faster in HIV/HCV-coinfected than in HCV-monoinfected patients (mean, 26 vs. 34 years after HCV infection, p = 0.002). HIV-positive patients received proven therapy more often (48% vs. 31%, p = 0.017), but median survival was similar (6.9 vs. 7.5 months, p = 0.44). Independent factors predicting survival were symptomatic presentation (hazard ratio [HR], 0.437; p < 0.001), any proven therapy (HR, 2.19; p < 0.001), diagnosis after 01-Jan-2002 (HR, 1.52; p = 0.010), Barcelona-Clínic-Liver-Cancer stages C + D (HR, 0.491; p < 0.001), AST/ALT ≥ 2.00 (HR, 0.597; p = 0.001), AFP ≥ 400 ng/mL (HR, 0.55, p = 0.003), and platelets ≥ 100,000/mm3 (HR, 0.651; p = 0.012), but not HIV-serostatus (p = 0.19). In HIV-infected patients without HCC therapy (n = 33), median survival was longer with undetectable HIV RNA (<400 copies/mL) than with HIV viremia (6.5 vs. 2.6 months, p = 0.013). Conclusions: HIV-positive HCC patients are younger and more frequently symptomatic and infected with HCV or HBV than HIV-negative patients. Tumor staging and survival are similar. In untreated patients, undetectable HIV RNA independently predicts better survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)527-537
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2007


  • HIV
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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