Aim: The role of tumor differentiation in the prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after hepatectomy remains controversial. The present study aimed to classify the impact of tumor differentiation on solitary hepatitis B viral (HBV)-associated HCC using propensity score matching analysis.
Methods: Between January 2009 and March 2015, the data of 721 HCC patients in West China Hospital were prospectively collected and analyzed. Propensity matching analysis was applied to overcome the imbalance in baseline characteristics. Survival analysis was performed using the Kaplan–Meier method. Risk factors were identified by the Cox proportional hazards model.
Results: All HCC patients were classified into the moderately well-differentiated HCCs group (group A, n = 442, 61.3%) or poorly differentiated HCCs group (group B, n = 279, 38.7%). Patients with poorly differentiated HCCs commonly had a larger tumor size, more advanced tumors, and a higher alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) level. Patients with poorly differentiated HCCs had a poorer recurrence-free survival and overall survival before and after propensity score matching analysis. Poorly differentiated tumors, positive serum hepatitis B viral e antigen, positive hepatitis B virus deoxyribonucleic acid load, tumor size, microvascular invasion, and AFP > 400 ng/ml were risk factors of a poor outcome.
Conclusions: Our propensity model provided strong evidence that a poorly differentiated tumor had a negative impact on the recurrence and long-term survival of solitary HBV-associated HCCs after curative hepatectomy. Antiviral therapy might improve their prognosis.

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Keywords Hepatocellular carcinoma, Prognosis, Propensity score matching, Tumor differentiation
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Journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences
Shen, J. (Junyi), Liu, J, Li, C. (Chuan), Wen, T. (Tianfu), Yan, L. (Lvnan), & Yang, J. (Jiayin). (2018). The Impact of Tumor Differentiation on the Prognosis of HBV-Associated Solitary Hepatocellular Carcinoma Following Hepatectomy. Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 1–8. doi:10.1007/s10620-018-5077-5