The intracellular HBV DNAs as novel and sensitive biomarkers for the clinical diagnosis of occult HBV infection in HBeAg negative hepatocellular carcinoma in China




Wang, Hui
Fang, Meng
Gu, Xing
Ji, Qiang
Li, Dongdi
Cheng, Shu-Qun
Shen, Feng
Gao, Chun-Fang

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Public Library of Science


This study aimed to investigate the virological status in liver (both tumor and adjacent non-tumor tissue), the clinical features and the contribution of occult HBV infection (OBI) to postoperative prognosis in HBeAg-negative(-) hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients in China. Using quantitative TaqMan fluorescent real-time PCR assays, HBV covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) and total DNA (tDNA) were both quantified in 11 (HBsAg(-)) and 57 (HBsAg-positive(+)) pairs of tumor tissue (TT) and adjacent non-tumor tissue (ANTT) obtained from HBeAg(-) HCC patients who received no antiviral treatment and were negative for anti-HCV before surgical treatment. Of 11 HBsAg(-) patients, 36% were with HBsAb(+) HBeAb(+) HBcAb(+). However, only 9% of the HBsAg(-) patients were HBsAb(-) HBeAb(+) HBcAb(+), which accounted for the majority (93%) in the HBsAg(+) group. TT and ANTT HBV tDNAs in 11 HCC patients with HBsAg (-) and HBeAg (-) were all detectable. HBV cccDNA and tDNA were all lower in the HBsAg(-) group than those in the HBsAg(+) group. By Kaplan-Meier analysis, patients with OBI were associated with a lower risk of cirrhosis and better overall survival (OS). The intracellular HBV DNAs, such as HBV cccDNA and tDNA are valuable biological markers for the diagnosis of occult HBV infection in HCC patients. This would assist the clinical implementation of a more personalized therapy for viral re-activation control and improve the survival rate of OBI patients.



liver, virological status, tumor, non-tumor tissue, HBV infection (OBI), HBeAg-negative(-) hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), China





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