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August 2021

Cancer. 1987 Nov; 60(10): 2581-5.

Hepatocellular carcinoma, hepatic cirrhosis, and hepatitis B virus infection in Nigeria.

Otu AA.

Department of Surgery, College of Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, Nigeria.

A total of 200 consecutive patients bearing histologically confirmed primary hepatocellular carcinoma (PHC) were studied at University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (CTH), Calabar, Nigeria in 5 years and compared with 150 patients with metastatic hepatic carcinoma (MHC). Four hundred symptomless non-icteric nontumor-bearing individuals were noncontemporaneous controls. Sera (a total of 750) were assayed for markers of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection; hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc), and hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs). Specimens which were positive for HBsAg also were examined for hepatitis E antigen (HBeAg) and antibody (anti-HBe). The results show that PHC was associated with HBV seropositivity in 80% of patients, and postnecrotic (macronodular) cirrhosis of the liver in 90% clearly indicating a strong association between primary liver cancer and HBV infections and liver cirrhosis. The main factor associated with seropositivity among normal controls was a large number of therapeutic injections. Seropositives received over twice as many injections as seronegatives. Public health measures are urgently required to prevent parenteral transmission of HBV in Nigeria.

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