Aim: To investigate the levels of leptin and adiponectin in prediction of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) survival among patients without liver transplantation. Materials and Methods: We measured pretreatment plasma leptin and adiponectin in 172 HCC cases who were prospectively followed-up over 7 years. Results: Gender, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, high body mass index (BMI), diabetes mellitus (DM) history and Child-Pugh (CP) class were associated with leptin and adiponectin levels, while fetoprotein (AFP) and presence of metastasis, being outside the Milan criteria and Barcelona clinic liver cancer (BCLC) stage, were significantly associated with liver transplantation and HCC survival. No significant association was observed for leptin or adiponectin and HCC survival in the overall group. In subgroup analyses among those without liver transplantation, we found significant associations between metastasis, Milan criteria, BCLC stage, hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and HCC survival. When separately determining the Cox proportional hazard models and Kaplan-Meier survival curves by liver transplantation status, higher adiponectin was significantly associated with an increased hazard ratio (HR) of death of 1.72 (95% confidence interval (CI)=1.12-2.64), i.e. poor survival among patients without liver transplantation. A multivariate Cox proportional hazard model, including adiponectin, CP class, presence of metastasis, tumor outside of Milan criteria, AFP and BCLC stage B/C parameters, also showed significant association with poor HCC survival (likelihood ratio test p<0.0001). No significant impact was observed for leptin on HCC survival regardless of liver transplantation status. Conclusion: Higher levels of plasma adiponectin may predict poor HCC survival among patients without liver transplantation.
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