Aflatoxin levels in chronic hepatitis B patients with cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma in Balkesir, Turkey

Aydin M., AYDIN S., BACANLI M., Basaran N.

JOURNAL OF VIRAL HEPATITIS, vol.22, no.11, pp.926-935, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/jvh.12410
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.926-935
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Aflatoxins, the secondary metabolites produced by species of naturally occurring Aspergilli, are commonly found in food such as cereals, dried fruits and juice, wine, beer and spices. They are hepatotoxic and are well known human carcinogens based on evidence from human studies. Aflatoxins are an environmental risk factor for the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Chronic hepatitis B-infected patients are at increased risk of cirrhosis, hepatic failure and liver cancer. This study was designed to determine the serum aflatoxin B-1 (AFB(1)), aflatoxin B-2 (AFB(2)), aflatoxin G(1) (AFG(1)) and aflatoxin G(2) (AFG(2)) concentrations using high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) in hepatitis B-infected patients with or without cirrhosis and liver cancer, alongside healthy controls in Balkesir, Turkey. The mean AFB(1) and total AF levels in patients without liver cancer and cirrhosis were significantly higher than healthy controls. The mean AFB(1) and total AF levels in patients with chronic hepatitis B and HCC were significantly higher than infected patients with or without cirrhosis. These results suggest that patients with chronic hepatitis B who are exposed to AFs are at increased risk for developing HCC, which might be prevented by reducing consumption of contaminated foods.