Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) incidence and mortality vary by race/ethnicity and both are higher in Black patients than in Whites. For HCC surveillance, all cirrhotic patients are advised to undergo lifelong twice-annual abdominal imaging. We investigated factors associated with surveillance and HCC incidence in a diverse HCC risk group, cirrhotic patients recently cured of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Methods: In this observational cohort study, all participants (n = 357) had advanced fibrosis/cirrhosis and were cured of HCV with antiviral treatment. None had Liver Imaging Reporting and Data System (LI-RADS) 2–5 lesions prior to HCV cure. Ultrasound, computed tomography, and/or magnetic resonance imaging were used for surveillance. Results: At a median follow-up of 40 months [interquartile range (IQR) = 28–48], the median percentage of time up-to-date with surveillance was 49% (IQR) = 30%–71%. The likelihood of receiving a first surveillance examination was not significantly associated with race/ethnicity, but was higher for patients with more advanced cirrhosis, for example, bilirubin [odds ratio (OR) = 3.8/mg/dL, p = 0.002], private insurance (OR = 3.4, p = 0.006), and women (OR = 2.3, p = 0.008). The likelihood of receiving two or three examinations was significantly lower for non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics versus non-Hispanic Whites (OR = 0.39, and OR = 0.40, respectively, p < 0.005 for both) and for patients with higher platelet counts (OR = 0.99/10,000 cells/µl, p = 0.01), but higher for patients with private insurance (OR = 2.8, p < 0.001). Incident HCC was associated with higher bilirubin (OR = 1.7, p = 0.02) and lower lymphocyte counts (OR = 0.16, p = 0.01). Conclusions: Contrary to best practices, HCC surveillance was associated with sociodemographic factors (insurance status and race/ethnicity) among patients cured of HCV. Guideline-concordant surveillance is needed to address healthcare disparities.
- African American
- direct acting antiviral
- hepatitis C
- hepatocellular carcinoma
- sustained virological response