Hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma
Shimizu, Ichiro Department of Digestive Medicine, Tokushima University Hospital
Ito, Susumu Department of Digestive Medicine, Tokushima University Hospital Tokushima University Educator and Researcher Directory
hepatitis C virus
Hepatitis C virus （HCV） was initially detected in １９８９. Therefore, blood transfusion before １９８９ may have resulted in infection with HCV. Acute hepatitis related to HCV does not cause any symptom, and is not recognized for a long period. Subsequent chronic hepatitis also causes no symptom. The condition slowly deteriorates, leading to liver cirrhosis after ２０ to ３０ years. Then, it causes an extremely high incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma （HCC） after ３０ to ４０ years. To prevent the progression of liver disease with HCV infection, hematology involving the AST/ALT levels, platelet count and specific tumor markers, and abdominal echography, CT and MRI should be periodically performed. Obesity and alcoholism accelerate the progression of liver disease. Treatment with interferon, the only agent that is able to remove HCV from the liver, must be administered. Even when HCV is not removed, the progression at a limited rate may prevent HCC.
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