The serum HBsAg in 4 chronic HBsAg carrier patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cleared within 4-38 months after surgical resection of their hepatic tumors. Two patients developed anti-HBs. During the follow-up period from 21 to 28 months after HBsAg clearance, none of the patients regained positive serum HBsAg. Two patients who had had tissue HBsAg present, exclusively in the tumor, showed quick HBsAg clearance after resection. The other 2 patients had a delayed HBsAg clearance. One had tissue HBsAg in both the tumor and nontumoral liver. Only 1 patient had tissue HBsAg in the liver, but not in the tumor. During the same period of observation of 323 chronic HBsAg carriers, who had a variety of histologically-verified chronic liver diseases and were followed for more than 6 months, only 1 cleared the antigen. The spontaneous HBsAg clearance in our HBsAg carriers (1/323) was significantly lower than that (4/64) of HBsAg-positive HCC patients with tumor resection, P < 0.004. The mechanisms of HBsAg clearance in HCC patients after surgical resection of tumors are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas