Comparative Analysis of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis– Versus Viral Hepatitis– and Alcohol-Related Liver Disease–Related Hepatocellular Carcinoma

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Background: Despite an increasing burden of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), limited data are available comparing outcomes of NASH-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) versus other etiologies. Methods: Patient demographic and tumor characteristics were collected for 1,051 patients diagnosed with NASH-, alcohol-related liver disease (ALD)–, hepatitis C virus (HCV)–, and hepatitis B virus (HBV)–related HCC at 2 large health systems from January 2008 through December 2016. Patient demographics, clinical characteristics, and survival were compared. Risk-adjusted treatment receipt and overall survival (OS) were examined using multivariable analysis. Results: A total of 92 patients with NASH-related HCC were compared with 153 patients with ALD-, 719 with HCV-, and 87 with HBV-related HCC. Patients with NASH were older, more likely female, and more likely Hispanic white. Patients with NASH and HBV had more compensated liver disease than those with ALD or HCV, including significantly higher proportions having noncirrhotic HCC. Despite similar surveillance receipt and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) tumor stage at diagnosis, patients with NASH had higher rates of curative-intent therapy than those with other diseases. Unadjusted median OS was 16 months for NASH, 15 months for ALD, 14 months for HCV, and 8 months for HBV. In multivariable analysis, NASH was associated with worse OS compared with ALD (hazard ratio, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.3–2.5), but there was no difference between NASH- and HCV- or HBV-related HCC. Conclusions: Patients with NASH-related HCC present with more preserved liver function, including a higher proportion having noncirrhotic HCC, than other diseases. Despite patients having similar tumor stage at diagnosis, NASH is independently associated with worse survival compared with ALD, but similar survival compared with HCV and HBV.

Correspondence: Adam C. Yopp, MD, Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75390. Email: adam.yopp@utsouthwestern.edu

These authors contributed equally.

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