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Low Rates of Retention Into Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) Surveillance Program After Initial HCC Screening

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To evaluate rates and predictors of retention into hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) surveillance beyond initial screening among underserved cirrhosis patients.


Although initial HCC screening among cirrhosis patients remains low, few studies have evaluated retention to HCC surveillance beyond initial screening.


We retrospectively evaluated all consecutive adults with cirrhosis from 2014 to 2017 at a single underserved safety net hospital system to determine rates of HCC surveillance at 6 months and at 1 year beyond initial screening. Rates of HCC surveillance was stratified by sex, race/ethnicity, and etiology of liver disease. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards models evaluated predictors of retention into HCC surveillance.


Among 235 cirrhosis patients [hepatitis C virus: 35.7%, hepatitis B virus (HBV): 15.7%, alcoholic cirrhosis: 36.2%, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH): 8.1%], mean age of cirrhosis diagnosis was 54.2±8.9 years. Overall, 74.8% received initial screening within 1 year of cirrhosis diagnosis. Among those who completed initial screening, 47.6% [95% confidence interval (CI), 41.4-54.2) received second surveillance within 1 year. On multivariate analyses, patients with NASH and HBV were significantly more likely to receive second HCC surveillance compared with hepatitis C virus, HBV (hazard ratio, 2.32; 95% CI, 1.18-4.56; P=0.014) and NASH (hazard ratio, 2.49; 95% CI, 1.22-5.11; P=0.012). No sex or race-specific/ethnicity-specific differences in HCC surveillance retention were observed.


Although overall rates of initial HCC screening among cirrhosis patients is nearly 75%, retention into continued HCC surveillance is poor, with less than half of patients undergoing subsequent HCC surveillance. Cirrhosis patients with HBV and NASH were more likely to be retained into HCC surveillance.
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Keywords: cirrhosis; hepatitis B; liver cancer; nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; surveillance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Alameda Health System, Highland Hospital, Oakland 2: Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA

Publication date: January 1, 2019

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