Risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma recurrence and survival after liver transplantation in patients with HCV-related cirrhosis

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Purpose. We aimed to identify prognostic factors for survival and recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after liver transplantation (LT) for patients with HCC and hepatitis C virus-related cirrhosis (HCV-cirrhosis). Methods. This retrospective cohort study followed all adult patients with HCV-cirrhosis who underwent LT because of HCC or had incidental HCC identified through pathologic examination of the explanted liver at a university hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, over 11 years (1998-2008). We used Cox regression models to assess the following risk factors regarding HCC recurrence or death after LT: age, Model for End-stage Liver Disease score, Child-Pugh classification, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), whether patients had undergone locoregional treatment before transplantation, the number of packed red blood cell units (PRBCU) transfused during surgery, the number and size of HCC lesions in the explanted liver, and the presence of microvascular invasion and necrotic areas within HCC lesions. Results. Seventy-six patients were followed up for a median (interquartile range (IQR)) of 4.4 (0.7-6.6) years. Thirteen (17%) patients had HCC recurrence during the follow-up period, and 26 (34%) died. The median survival time was 6.6 years (95% CI: 2.4-12.0), and the 5-year survival was 52.5% (95% CI: 42.3-65.0%). The final regression model for overall survival included four variables: age (hazard ratio (HR): 1.02, 95% CI: 0.96-1.08, P = 0:603), transplantation waiting time (HR: 1.00, 95% CI: 1.00-1.00, P = 0:190), preoperative AFP serum levels (HR: 1.01, 95% CI: 1.00-1.02, P = 0:006), and whether >4 PRBCU were transfused during surgery (HR: 1.15, 95% CI: 1.05-1.25, P = 0:001). The final cause-specific Cox regression model for HCC recurrence included only microvascular invasion (HR: 14.86, 95% CI: 4.47-49.39, P < 0:001). Conclusion. In this study of LT for HCV-cirrhosis, preoperative AFP levels and the number of PRBCU transfused during surgery were associated with overall survival, whereas microvascular invasion with HCC recurrence.





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BioMed Research International, v. 2020.

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