Published online May 28, 2014. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i20.5951
Revised: February 16, 2014
Accepted: April 15, 2014
Published online: May 28, 2014
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.