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Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas

Print version ISSN 1130-0108


ZAPATA, E. et al. Are hepatocellular carcinoma surveillance programs effective at improving the therapeutic options?: ¿mejoran las opciones terapéuticas de estos pacientes?. Rev. esp. enferm. dig. [online]. 2010, vol.102, n.8, pp.484-488. ISSN 1130-0108.

Aim: to evaluate whether the current surveillance programs (ultrasonography and alpha-fetoprotein testing every six months) are successful in detecting patients in the early stages. Material and methods: the health records of all patients diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma in Donostia Hospital between 2003 and 2005 were reviewed retrospectively. Eighty-five patients (11 women and 74 men) were included in the study and demographic data, risk factors and clinical data were obtained. Patients were split into two groups according to whether or not they had been included in a surveillance program. Results: seventy per cent of patients of the surveillance group is diagnosed in early stage opposite to 26.7% of patients in no surveillance group (p < 0.05). Thirteen patients cannot receive curative treatment in spite of the diagnosis in early stage (9 in the surveillance group and 4 in the no surveillance group. The global sensibility of the surveillance program in our series is 95%. Conclusions: current hepatocellular carcinoma surveillance programs, which comprise six-monthly ultrasonography and alpha-fetoprotein tests, are highly sensitive and effective. These programs result in the detection of hepatocellular carcinoma in its early-stages, when potentially curative treatment may be offered.

Keywords : Hepatocellular carcinoma; Surveillance; Ultrasonography; Abdominal echography; Alpha-fetoprotein.

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