Comparison of tenofovir and entecavir on the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma and mortality in treatment-naïve patients with chronic hepatitis B in Korea: a large-scale, propensity score analysis

OBJECTIVE:

The use of tenofovir (TDF) and entecavir (ETV) in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) has led to a decrease in the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and liver-related events. However, whether there is a difference between the two agents in the extent of improving such outcomes has not been clarified thus far. Therefore, we aimed to compare TDF and ETV on the risk of HCC and mortality.

DESIGN:

A total of 7015 consecutive patients with CHB who were treated with TDF or ETV between February 2007 and January 2018 at the liver units of the Catholic University of Korea were screened for study eligibility and 3022 patients were finally analysed. Study end points were HCC and all-cause mortality or liver transplantation (LT) within 5 years after the initiation of antiviral therapy. Propensityscore matching (PSM) and inverse probability of treatment weighting methods were used.

RESULTS:

No difference was observed between TDF and ETV in the incidence rates of HCC in the entire cohort (HR 1.030; 95% CI 0.703 to 1.509, PSM model, p=0.880) and subgroups of patients with chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis. Also, no difference was observed between TDF and ETV in the incidence rates of all-cause mortality or LT in the entire cohort (HR 1.090; 95% CI 0.622 to 1.911, PSM model, p=0.763), and patients with chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis.

CONCLUSION:

This study has demonstrated the clinical outcomes in patients with CHB who received TDF or ETV treatment. There was no difference in the intermediate-term risk of HCC and mortality or LT between the two drugs.