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Minerva Medica 2005 April;96(2):95-108

Copyright © 2005 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: Italian

Screening for hepatocellular carcinoma

Leone N., Rizzetto M.


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Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is common throughout the world. The incidence of HCC is higher in cirrhotic patients and, among these patients, the incidence rate is 3% in Europe. The overall survival rate of HCC ranges between 20 and 30 months, and is influenced by the local stage of the neoplasm and by the liver function. The literature reports several serological, urinary and radiological markers used for the early detection of HCC. Currently, it is higly recommended to periodically screen cirrhotic patients and hepatitis B virus carriers older than 35 by serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and liver ultrasound (US) every 6 months. The concomitant determination of des-g-carboxy prothrombin and AFP allows a 23% increase in sensibility of the diagnosis for HCC avoiding the need for invasive diagnostic procedures.

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