Serum albumin levels in relation to tumor parameters in hepatocellular carcinoma patients



Serum albumin levels have been shown to have prognostic significance in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), as part of an inflammatory index. The aim of this study was to examine the possible relationship of serum albumin levels to parameters of HCC aggressiveness.


A large HCC patient cohort was retrospectively examined, and the possible relationships of albumin levels to tumor diameter, multifocality, portal vein thrombosis (PVT) and α-fetoprotein levels were examined.


HCC patients with lower serum albumin levels had significantly larger maximum tumor diameters, greater prevalence of PVT, increased tumor multifocality and higher α-fetoprotein levels, than HCC patients with higher albumin levels. A correlation was found between levels of these tumor parameters and serum albumin levels.


These results indicate that low serum albumin levels correlate with increased parameter measures of HCC aggressiveness, in addition to their role as a monitor of systemic inflammation. Decreased serum albumin might have a role in HCC aggressiveness.

Int J Biol Markers 2017; 32(4): e391 - e396




Brian I Carr, Vito Guerra

Article History


Financial support: Funding was received in the form of a grant from the Italian Ministry of Health to the IRCCS de Bellis Medical Center.
Conflict of interest: The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.

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  • Izmir Biomedicine and Genome Institute, Dokuz Eylul University, Balcova, Izmir - Turkey
  • Department of Epidemiology, IRCCS de Bellis Medical Center, Castellana Grotte (Bari) - Italy

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