Racial Diversity in Hepatocellular Carcinoma in a Predominately African-American Population at an Urban Medical Center

Brian Rutledge, Jenny Jan, Sindhuri Benjaram, Neha Sahni, Paul Naylor, Philip Philip, Murray Ehrinpreis, Milton Mutchnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Surveillance, treatment, and outcomes for African-American (AA) populations with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remain under evaluated. This study evaluated demographics, surveillance, therapy, and outcomes for a predominately AA population. Methods: The electronic medical records of a large health-care provider were used to identify 274 patients with visits for HCC between 2010 and 2017. Tumor size at diagnosis was defined by imaging with ≤ 5 cm being defined as “small.” Surveillance for HCC was defined based on ultrasound (US) assessments. Results: Patients were primarily AA (78%) and male (76%) with an average age at diagnosis of 62 years. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) was more likely to be a risk factor for the development of HCC in AA as compared to non-AA (92% vs 67%; p < 0.005). Surveillance rates were low (16% for AA vs 7% for non-AA). An aspartate aminotransferase platelet ratio index (APRI) value > 0.7 within 2 years of tumor diagnosis was a strong predictor for the risk of the development of HCC (86% AA vs 79 % non-AA). In this study, race was not a factor in treatment or outcomes, and most patients received tumor ablative treatment. Conclusion: Given the low surveillance rates and the demonstrated increased survival for patients with small tumors, ways to increase surveillance must be initiated. The results of this study demonstrate the need for physician/patient education on the importance of surveillance US. Further, this study supports routine assessment of APRI in AA patients in an effort to identify patients in whom intensive surveillance will significantly improve earlier detection of tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)972-979
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Cancer
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • African-American
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Ultrasound (US)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Gastroenterology


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