Effect of surveillance for hepatocellular carcinoma on tumor staging and treatment decisions in Egyptian patients

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Abdel-Rahman El-Zayadi, Hanaa M. Badran, Sherine Shawky, Sally Emara, Ashraf El-Bareedy, Mohammed Sobhi

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Research Article

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Spring 3-20-2010




Purpose Egyptian hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients present at advanced stages. We aimed to study the influence of surveillance versus non-surveillance on HCC staging and the potential therapeutic options. Methods A retrospective study to evaluate the effect of surveillance on early detection of HCC among cirrhotic patients from 2003 to 2008. Patients examined every 6 months using ultrasound and α-fetoprotein (α-FP) (group A) and those diagnosed with those that present for the first time symptomatically or incidentally (group B). Groups were compared for α-FP level, tumour characteristics, severity of liver disease; tumour staging was evaluated by Okuda, CLIP and BCLC staging systems, in addition to the potential therapeutic options. Results Group A comprised 122 HCC cases and group B 473. Surveillance improved HCC detection: at the stage of single nodule in 62.3% in group A versus 52.2% in group B, (P = 0.046) and reduced the percentage of HCC with portal vein thrombosis in 16.4 versus 33.8%, (P = 0.000) and the percentage of α-FP >400 ng/ml in 19.5 versus 32.6%, (P = 0.006) in groups A and B, respectively. Surveillance doubled the detection of HCC at early stage of BCLC (25.4 vs. 11.9% P = 0.000) and doubled the patients' chance for loco-regional ablation (12.3 vs. 5.9%, P = 0.015) and liver transplantation (10.7 vs. 3.2%, P = 0.001) in groups A and B, respectively. Conclusion HCC surveillance increases early detection of HCC and doubled the chances for curative options. Implementation of both HCC surveillance and cadaveric liver transplantation programs should be recommended in Egypt.

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