BioScience Trends. 2021;15(1):41-49. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2021.01064)

Combination of albumin-bilirubin grade and clinically significant portal hypertension predicts the prognosis of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma after liver resection

Qin L, Li C, Xie F, Wang ZX, Wen TF


There is little information concerning whether incorporating clinically significant portal hypertension (CSPH) into albumin-bilirubin (ALBI) grading could improve its predictive capacity. In this study, we investigated the predictive ability of ALBI grade plus CSPH (ALBI-P score) for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after liver resection. Data from 1,679 patients were retrospectively reviewed. The ALBI-P score was calculated from the ALBI grade and a point for CSPH (0 for absence of CSPH and 1 for presence of CSPH). Independent risk factors for recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) were analyzed. Multivariate analysis suggested that the ALBI-P score was an independent risk factor for both postoperative recurrence (HR = 1.441, 95% CI = 1.328-1.563, P < 0.001) and mortality (HR = 1.332, 95% CI = 1.156-1.535, P < 0.001). Both the RFS and OS of patients with an ALBI-P score of 1 were significantly better than those of patients with ALBI-P scores of 2 and 3 (5-year RFS of 38.9%, 26.1%, and 14.7%, respectively, P < 0.001; 5-year OS of 52.7%, 42.6%, and 29.3%, P < 0.001). When the ALBI-P score and BCLC stage were combined, the ALBI-P-BCLC score showed the highest area under the receiver operating characteristic curve to predict both postoperative recurrence and mortality compared with BCLC stage alone, BCLC stage combined with ALBI grade, or platelet-albumin-bilirubin grade. These results suggested incorporating CSPH into the ALBI grade could strengthen its prognostic power. The ALBI-P score may serve as a surrogate marker to predict HCC patient outcomes after liver resection.

KEYWORDS: hepatocellular carcinoma, albumin-bilirubin grade, clinically significant portal hypertension

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