The prevalence and independent predictors of the different macroscopic types of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) were assessed in 1,073 unselected patients of 14 hospitals in Italy from May 1996 to May 1997. Solitary HCC was the most common cancer type (44.6%), followed by multinodular (44.2%), diffuse (8.4%) and massive (2.8%) types. After adjustment for the influence of confounders by multiple logistic regression analysis, Child-Pugh grades B and C were found to be independent predictors of multinodular (odds ratio, OR, 2.0; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.5–2.6) and diffuse (OR 2.6; 95% CI = 1.6–4.4) HCC types. These findings indicate that the majority of HCC cases are not detected at a potentially treatable stage. Delayed detection of HCC is associated with a higher likelihood of the multinodular or diffuse gross pathologic type.
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