High Neutrophil–Lymphocyte Ratio and Delta Neutrophil–Lymphocyte Ratio Are Associated with Increased Mortality in Patients with Hepatocellular Cancer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The neutrophil–lymphocyte ratio (NLR) has been proposed as a prognostic biomarker for cirrhosis and non-liver malignancies. We aimed to evaluate the prognostic value of NLR in a diverse cohort of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Methods: We performed a retrospective study of patients diagnosed with HCC between 2008 and 2017 at two large US health systems. We used Cox proportional hazard and multivariable ordinal logistic regression models to identify factors associated with overall survival and response to first HCC treatment, respectively. Primary variables of interest were baseline NLR and delta NLR, defined as the difference between pre- and post-treatment NLR. Results: Among 1019 HCC patients, baseline NLR was < 5 in 815 (80.0%) and ≥ 5 in 204 (20.0%). Patients with NLR ≥ 5 had a higher proportion of infiltrative tumors (36.2% vs 22.3%), macrovascular invasion (39.6% vs 25.5%), metastatic disease (20.6% vs 11.4%), and AFP > 200 ng/mL (45.6% vs 33.8%). Baseline NLR ≥ 5 was independently associated with higher mortality (median survival 4.3 vs 15.1 months; adjusted HR 1.70, 95%CI 1.41–2.06), with differences in survival consistent across BCLC stages. After adjusting for baseline covariates including NLR, delta NLR > 0.26 was also independently associated with increased mortality (HR 1.42, 95%CI 1.14–1.78). In a secondary analysis, high NLR was associated with lower odds of response to HCC treatment (20.2% vs 31.6%; adjusted OR 0.55, 95%CI 0.32–0.95). Conclusions: In a large Western cohort of patients with HCC, high baseline NLR and delta NLR were independent predictors of mortality. Impact: NLR is an inexpensive test that may be a useful component of future HCC prognostic models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Biomarker
  • Inflammation
  • Liver cancer
  • Prognosis
  • Tumor staging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'High Neutrophil–Lymphocyte Ratio and Delta Neutrophil–Lymphocyte Ratio Are Associated with Increased Mortality in Patients with Hepatocellular Cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this