OBJECTIVE: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a well recognized cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The pathogenic significance of HCV genotypes in hepatocarcinogenesis is undefined. The aim of this study was to investigate the genotypic distribution and viremic level of HCV in patients with HCV-associated cirrhosis with or without HCC. METHODS: A total of 28 HCV-infected patients with HCC (HCC+) and 38 patients with HCV-associated cirrhosis without HCC (HCC-) were studied. HCV genotype was assessed by the genotype-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method of Okamoto and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of the 5' untranslated region (5' UTR). Hepatitis C viremia was quantitated with the branched-chain DNA (bDNA) assay. RESULTS: Using the Okamoto method, we found genotype lb in 64% of the HCC+ group and 74% of the HCC- group, 36% of the HCC+ group and 16% of the HCC- group were coinfected with a combination of genotype lb and another genotype. Using the RFLP method, we found genotype lb in 41% of the HCC+ group and in 24% of the HCC- group. Other genotypes accounted for 18% of the HCC+ group and 55% of the HCC- group; no combination genotypes were identified. Poor concordance occurred between the two genotyping methods. Mean bDNA levels were not significantly different between the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrates that no particular HCV genotypes were associated with HCC and genotype did not appear to influence the development of HCV-associated HCC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas