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High hepatitis B virus load is associated with hepatocellular carcinomas development in Chinese chronic hepatitis B patients: a case control study

Jin-Yong Zhou12, Le Zhang12, Lei Li1, Guang-Yu Gu1, Yi-Hua Zhou12 and Jun-Hao Chen1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Laboratory Medicine, Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing, China

2 Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Molecular Medicine, Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing, China

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Virology Journal 2012, 9:16  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-9-16

Published: 13 January 2012



Persistent hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development. This study aimed to clarify whether the high HBV DNA level is associated with HCC development by comparing HBV DNA levels between HBV infected patients with and without HCC.


There were 78 male and 12 female patients in each group and there was no statistical difference between these two group patients' average ages. The HBV DNA level in the HCC patients was 4.73 ± 1.71 Log10 IU/ml while 3.90 ± 2.01 Log10 IU/ml in non-HCC patients (P < 0.01). The HBeAg positive rate was 42.2% (38/90) in the HCC group while 13.3% (12/90) in the non-HCC group (P < 0.001). Compared with patients with HBV DNA level of < 3 Log10 IU/ml, the patients with level of 3 to < 4, 4 to < 5, 5 to < 6, or ≥ 6 Log10 IU/ml had the odds ratio for HCC of 1.380 (95% CI, 0.544-3.499), 3.671 (95% CI, 1.363-9.886), 5.303 (95% CI, 1.847-15.277) or 3.030 (95% CI, 1.143-8.036), respectively.


HBV-related HCC patients had higher HBV DNA level than non-HCC counterparts. Our findings imply that active HBV replication is associated with the HCC development.