Treatment and survival of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis associated hepatocellular carcinoma

Arndt Weinmann, Yvonne Alt, Sandra Koch, Carina Nelles, Christoph Düber, Hauke Lang, Gerd Otto, Tim Zimmermann, Jens U. Marquardt, Peter R. Galle, Marcus A. Wörns, Jörn M. Schattenberg*

*Corresponding author for this work
43 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The incidence of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is increasing worldwide and a poorly defined subset of patients develops end-stage liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Differences in the biological behaviour, tumour characteristics, associated risk factors, treatment outcomes and overall survival of patients with NASH-HCC remain poorly defined. The aim of this study was to determine and analyze these differences in a large clinical cohort to guide treatment decisions. Methods: 1119 patients with HCC treated in an 11year period at the University Medical Centre of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz were retrospectively analyzed. Results: Patients with NASH-HCC (n=45) were older (67.6 vs. 65years), had an increased frequency of the metabolic syndrome and complications with a higher incidence of obesity (31.1% vs. 14.7%), type II diabetes mellitus (66.7% vs. 37.85%), a higher rate of myocardial infarction (13.3% vs. 4.8%) and apoplectic stroke (8.9% vs. 2.1%) (all p<0.05). Interestingly, liver function was preserved to a higher extent and MELD scores were significantly lower in NASH-HCC. Nonetheless, resection or orthotopic liver transplantation was performed only in 17.8% and 4.4% of NASH-HCC respectively. Overall survival was lower compared to HCC of other aetiologies. Independent of the underlying aetiology BMI exhibited a positive correlation with overall survival. Conclusion: Despite retained liver function, patients with NASH-associated HCC showed a decreased overall survival. With regards to the expected increasing prevalence of NASH, it will be necessary to improve screening and surveillance strategies to identify HCC in NASH early and improve survival.

Original languageEnglish
Article number210
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01.04.2015


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