Research Papers:

Elevated preoperative aspartate aminotransferase to lymphocyte ratio index as an independent prognostic factor for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma after hepatic resection

Junfei Jin, Pengpeng Zhu, Yan Liao, Jun Li, Weijia Liao and Songqing He _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:19217-19227. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.4265

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Junfei Jin1,2,*, Pengpeng Zhu1,*, Yan Liao3, Jun Li1, Weijia Liao1,2 and Songqing He1,2

1 Laboratory of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, Affiliated Hospital of Guilin Medical University, Guilin, Guangxi, People’s Republic of China

2 Guangxi Key Laboratory of Molecular Medicine in Liver Injury and Repair, Guilin Medical University, Guilin, Guangxi, People’s Republic of China

3 Disease Prevention and Control Center of Guilin, Guilin, Guangxi, People’s Republic of China

* These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Songqing He, email:

Weijia Liao, email:

Keywords: oncology, hepatocellular carcinoma, treatment, prognosis, therapy

Received: March 17, 2015 Accepted: May 13, 2015 Published: May 25, 2015


Few studies have elucidated the relationship between preoperative aspartate aminotransferase (AST) to lymphocyte ratio and high incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In search of a simple non-invasive prognostic marker, we investigated the prognostic significance of AST to lymphocyte ratio index (ALRI) in HCC.We reviewed retrospectively clinical parameters of 371 HCC patients who were treated with hepatectomy. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was performed to determine the cut-off value of preoperative ALRI. The predictive value of preoperative ALRI in HCC was evaluated by univariate and multivariate analyses using Cox proportional hazards regression modeling, and the survival probability of HCC patients was acquired by the Kaplan-Meier plots. In addition, stratified analysis was used to investigate the impact of preoperative ALRI on survival in different HCC subgroups. The results showed that preoperative ALRI was closely correlated with age (p = 0.007), median size (p = 0.004), clinical tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stage (p < 0.001), and portal vein tumor thrombosis (PVTT) (p < 0.001). Survival analysis indicated that HCC patients with preoperative ALRI > 25.2 have a poorer disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) after tumor resection. Multivariate analysis further identified preoperative ALRI > 25.2 (p = 0.002), III-IV of TNM stage (p = 0.011), PVTT (p = 0.035), size of tumor > 5 cm (p < 0.001) as independent risk factors of DFS; and preoperative ALRI > 25.2 (p = 0.001), III-IV of TNM stage (p = 0.005), PVTT (p = 0.012), size of tumor > 5 cm (p < 0.001), recurrence (p < 0.001) as independent prognostic factors for OS in HCC patients. Additionally, preoperative ALRI also showed different prognostic value in various subgroups of HCC. Elevated preoperative ALRI as a noninvasive, simple, and easily assessable parameter is an independent effective predictor of prognosis for patients with HCC.

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