Clinical Presentation of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) in Asian-Americans Versus Non-Asian-Americans

Department of Internal Medicine, University of California Irvine School of Medicine, Irvine, CA, USA.
Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health (Impact Factor: 1.16). 10/2010; 13(5):842-8. DOI: 10.1007/s10903-010-9395-8
Source: PubMed


The incidence of HCC is rising worldwide. Studies on ethnicity-based clinical presentation of HCC remain limited. The aim is to compare the clinical presentation and stage of HCC between Asian-Americans and non-Asian-Americans. This retrospective study assessed ethnicity-based differences in HCC presentation, including demographics, laboratory results, diagnosis of underlying liver disease, and stage of HCC. Of 276 patients, 162 were Asian-Americans and 114 were non-Asian-Americans. Compared to non-Asian-Americans, Asian-Americans had a significantly higher incidence of history of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection (55.0% vs. 4.9%, P < 0.001), family history of HBV infection (12.5% vs. 0.0%, P < 0.001) and HCC (15.2% vs. 2.9%, P = 0.002), but lower incidence of history of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection (37.5% vs. 61.6%, P < 0.001). At diagnosis of HCC, Asian-American patients had a significantly lower frequency of hepatic encephalopathy (8.9% vs. 29.3%, P = 0.001), and ascites (26.7% vs. 57.3%, P < 0.001). Asian-Americans had lower Child-Pugh scores (class A: 62.0% vs. 31.4%, P < 0.001), and MELD scores (9.2 ± 4.4 vs. 12.0 ± 6.4, P = 0.02), and presented with a lower stage of HCC by Okuda staging (I: 43.8% vs. 22.8%, P = 0.001). Asian-American patients with HCC presented with a higher incidence of history and family history of HBV infection, lower incidence of hepatic decompensation, lower Child and MELD scores, and an early stage HCC disease.

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    • "Furthermore, hepatic encephalopathy was observed in a very few cases of HCC. This result is similar to that reported by Wong et al.[34], who found that Asian-American patients had a significantly lower frequency of hepatic encephalopathy compared with non-Asian Americans. "
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