Clinical Research Papers:

Perioperative entecavir for patients with HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma and low levels of viral DNA: analysis using propensity score matching

Bao-Hong Yuan, Ru-Hong Li, Wei-Ping Yuan, Bang-De Xiang, Ming-Hua Zheng, Tian Yang, Jian-Hong Zhong _ and Le-Qun Li

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:51810-51816. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15395

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Bao-Hong Yuan1,*, Ru-Hong Li1,*, Wei-Ping Yuan2,*, Bang-De Xiang2,*, Ming-Hua Zheng3, Tian Yang4, Jian-Hong Zhong2 and Le-Qun Li2

1 Department of General Surgery, Yan’An Hospital Affiliated to Kunming Medical University, Kunming, China

2 Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Affiliated Tumor Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, China

3 Department of Hepatology, Liver Research Center, The First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, China

4 Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China

* These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Jian-Hong Zhong, email:

Tian Yang, email:

Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma, Hepatitis B virus, entecavir, HBV reactivation, liver function

Received: January 09, 2017 Accepted: January 27, 2017 Published: February 16, 2017


The safety and efficacy of perioperative antiviral therapy for patients with hepatitis B virus related hepatocellular carcinoma and low serum levels of hepatitis B virus DNA are unknown. This retrospective study compared serum levels of hepatitis B virus DNA, liver function, morbidity, and length of hospital stay between patients who underwent hepatic resection alone and patients who received entecavir therapy before and after resection (n = 44 in each group). Propensity score matching was used to reduce confounding due to baseline differences between the groups. Hepatitis B virus reactivation during follow-up, which lasted a median of 6.1 months, occurred in one patient in the entecavir group (2.3%) and 11 patients in the resection-only group (25%; P = 0.02). Liver function, especially alanine aminotransferase levels, recovered much faster in the entecavir group. This group also showed a slightly lower rate of morbidity (P = 0.081) as well as significantly shorter overall hospital stay (20.1 ± 4.9 vs 24.9 ± 13.2 days; P = 0.028) and postoperative hospital stay (11.4 ± 1.9 vs 16.8 ± 13.1 days; P = 0.008). These results from this pilot study suggest that patients with hepatitis B virus related hepatocellular carcinoma and low levels of hepatitis B virus DNA are at risk of hepatitis B virus reactivation following resection, and that perioperative entecavir therapy can safely and effectively reduce this risk. Such therapy also appears to improve liver function and shorten hospitalization.

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