De novo hepatitis B virus infection in hepatocellular carcinoma following eradication of hepatitis C virus by interferon therapy

Akihiro Nasu, Hiroyuki Marusawa, Yoshihide Ueda, Yuji Eso, Makoto Umeda, Tsutomu Chiba, Yukio Osaki

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Epidemiological studies have revealed that hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is still observed in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-positive patients with a sustained response to interferon (IFN) treatment, although a substantial decrease in the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has been achieved in those patients. Why HCC develops in patients who have a complete clearance of HCV remains unclear. Here, we provided evidence of latent hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in an initially HCV-positive chronic hepatitis patient who developed HCC after the complete eradication of HCV by IFN therapy. Although he was initially negative for anti-hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) or circulating HBV DNA but positive for anti-hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) in his sera, he developed HBsAg and HBV DNA during the course of the management of a series of cancers. HBV DNA was detectable in the liver tissues before HBV reactivation and the viral sequences derived from his anti-HBc-positive liver showed 100% homology to that from the serum after HBsAg appearance. These findings indicates that HCV-positive individuals who are positive for anti-HBc in the absence of HBsAg could have latent HBV infection in their liver tissues and intrahepatic HBV infection may play a pivotal role in the development of HCC after the IFN-mediated eradication of HCV.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)661-665
    Number of pages5
    JournalHepatology Research
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Jun 2010



    • Hepatitis B virus
    • Hepatitis C virus
    • Hepatocellular carcinoma
    • Interferon

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Hepatology
    • Infectious Diseases

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