Análise da sobrevida de pacientes com carcinoma hepatocelular pequeno / Survival analysis of patients with small hepatocellular carcinoma




Introduction: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary liver cancer. Liver cirrhosis is the major risk factor for this tumor. Screening for HCC in patients with cirrhosis has been recommended, in the belief that detection and treatment of early HCC improves patient survival. The aims of this study were to analyze the overall survival of small HCC in cirrhotic patients and identify independent predictors of survival, in Brazil. Methods: Between January 1998 and December 2003, seventy-four cirrhotic patients with hepatocellular carcinoma were evaluated satisfying the following criteria: HCC of 30 mm or smaller and a maximum of three lesions. Predictors of survival were identified using the Kaplan-Meier and the Cox model. Results: Mean age was 58 years-old (32-77), 71% of patients was male, 64% had hepatitis C, 60% were Child-Pugh A, mean MELD score was 11 and 79% had portal hypertension. At the time of diagnosis, 71% had one tumor, the size of the main tumor was smaller than 20 mm in 47%, mean AFP level was 131 ng/ml. Three patients had portal vein thrombosis, suggesting vascular invasion. Fifty patients (67.5%) were included in the liver transplant list, but it was performed in only four patients. Tumor resection was possible in four patients. Forty-eight (64.8%) patients received percutaneous treatment (radiofrequency ablation or percutaneous ethanol injection). Nine patients did not receive any cancer treatment. The overall survival rates were 80%, 62%, 41% and 17% at 12, 24, 36 and 60 months, respectively. The mean length of follow-up after HCC diagnosis was 23 months (median 22 months, range 1-86 months) for the entire group. During follow-up a total of 39 deaths related to liver failure or HCC progression occurred. Univariate analysis of the 74 patients showed that MELD score greater than 11 (p = 0.016), Child-Pugh classification (p = 0.007), AFP >100 ng/ml (p = 0.006), more than one lesion (p = 0.041), tumor diameter >20 mm (p = 0.009) and presence of vascular invasion (p <0.0001) were significant predictors of survival. Cox regression analysis identified vascular invasion (RR = 14.60 - IC 95% = 3.3 - 64.56 - p <0.001) and tumor size >20mm (RR = 2.14 - IC 95% = 1.07 - 4.2 - p = 0.030) as independent predictors of decreased survival. Treatment of HCC was related to increased overall survival. Conclusion: Identification of small tumors of up to 20 mm diameter is related to increase survival. Nevertheless, vascular invasion, in spite of the small diameter of the lesions, is a factor associated with dismal prognosis.


carcinoma hepatocelular sobrevida carcinoma hepatocellular early diagnosis diagnóstico precoce survivorship

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