Background and Aim
The role of the metabolic syndrome in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has been previously reported. This study aims to investigate the possible role of vitamin D3, Zinc, Parathyroid hormone (PTH), calcium and phosphorus serum levels as non-traditional metabolic risk factors in HCV-related HCC.
This cross-sectional observational study recruited HCV infected patients with and without HCC. All patients were subjected to demographic, biochemical, and hematological assessment. Serum levels of vitamin D3, Zinc, PTH, calcium, and phosphorus were determined in all the study participants.
This study includes 50 patients with HCV-related HCC compared to 40 patients with HCV-related liver cirrhosis and 30 patients with HCV chronic hepatitis C (CHC) without HCC. Our results show significantly higher age, male sex, aspartate transaminase (AST), PTH and corrected serum calcium levels in the HCC patients compared to values in the other two groups, (p < 0.001); while significant lower vitamin D3 and zinc levels were detected among the HCC patients compared to patients with non-HCC liver cirrhosis and CHC, (p < 0.001).Vitamin D3 deficiency was detected in 96% of the HCC patients, while it was detected in only 22.5% of the cirrhotic patients and in none of the CHC patients, (p < 0.001). However, on multiple stepwise regression analysis, only the age, AST, PTH, and corrected calcium levels were the independent predictors for HCC when studied in relation to chronic liver disease.
This study indicates the prevalent deficient levels of vitamin D3 and zinc in HCC patients; however, a causal relationship is not established in this study.