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World J Gastroenterol. May 28, 2014; 20(20): 5951-5961
Published online May 28, 2014. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i20.5951
Occult hepatitis B virus and hepatocellular carcinoma
Teresa Pollicino, Carlo Saitta
Teresa Pollicino, Department of Pediatric, Gynecologic, Microbiological, and Biomedical Sciences, University Hospital of Messina, 98124 Messina, Italy
Carlo Saitta, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University Hospital of Messina, 98124 Messina, Italy
Author contributions: Saitta C collected the data and wrote the initial draft; Pollicino T reviewed the data, and finalized the paper; both authors revised and approved the final manuscript before submission.
Correspondence to: Teresa Pollicino, MD, Department of Pediatric, Gynecologic, Microbiological, and Biomedical Sciences, University Hospital of Messina, Via Consolare Valeria, 98124 Messina, Italy. tpollicino@unime.it
Telephone: +39-90-2217070 Fax: +39-90-2213594
Received: November 1, 2013
Revised: February 16, 2014
Accepted: April 15, 2014
Published online: May 28, 2014
Core Tip

Core tip: Accumulating evidence indicates that occult hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection (OBI) is an important risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development both in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected and HCV-negative patients with chronic liver disease. Data form humans and animal models have shown that OBI may contribute to hepatocellular transformation through the same direct and indirect mechanisms that subtend HCC development in overt HBV infection. In this review, we aimed at revising the current epidemiological, clinical and molecular data linking OBI to HCC development.