Participants in a community-based abdominal ultrasonography screening in Taiwan displayed a decreased hepatocellular carcinoma mortality rate, compared with patients who did not undergo the screening, according to recent study data.
Researchers recruited 11,114 Taiwanese patients aged 45 to 69 years to participate in a risk-guided mass abdominal ultrasonography (AUS) screening for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) between 2008 and 2010. All patients resided in a high-incidence HCC area. The AUS group included 8,962 patients, while the remainder did not attend screening. Researchers used a control group and an uninvited AUS group, which included patients who were not a part of the Changhua Community-based Integrated Screening (CHCIS), but resided in the same high-risk area as the AUS-invited group, for comparisons.
Sixteen patients who underwent AUS were diagnosed with HCC, including two who died, an incidence researchers called “a favorable survival.” The mortality rate among AUS patients with HCC decreased by approximately 31%, compared with the non-AUS group. The cumulative mortality rate due to HCC (per 100,000) was lower in the AUS group (17.26) compared with the uninvited AUS group (42.87) and controls (47.51). Rates for age- and gender-adjusted relative mortality were 0.69 (95% CI, 0.56-0.84) and 0.63 (95% CI, 0.52-0.77), respectively.
“Our study demonstrated a 31% reduction in HCC mortality by comparing those individuals invited to a community-based AUS screening with an uninvited group using a risk score-guided invitation scheme in Changhua County during 2 years of follow-up since 2008,” researchers said. “This finding suggests the feasibility of mass screening for HCC with AUS that targets subjects not covered by the nationwide vaccination program against hepatitis B virus infection.”
Disclosure: See the study for a full list of relevant financial disclosures.