Center Experience Affects Liver Transplant Outcomes in Patients with Hilar Cholangiocarcinoma
Kitajima T, Hibi T, Moonka D, Sapisochin G, Abouljoud MS, and Nagai S. Center Experience Affects Liver Transplant Outcomes in Patients with Hilar Cholangiocarcinoma. Ann Surg Oncol 2020.
Annals of surgical oncology
BACKGROUND: Based on favorable outcomes reported by experienced centers, perihilar cholangiocarcinoma (Ph-CCA) has become an accepted indication for liver transplantation (LT). What is less clear is if the reported outcomes have been reproduced nationwide in the US.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate post-transplant outcomes in patients with Ph-CCA and to determine prognostic factors.
METHODS: Patients who underwent LT with Model for End-stage Liver Disease exception scores for Ph-CCA between 2010 and 2017 were evaluated. Transplant centers were classified into well- and less-experienced groups: Group 1 [well-experienced (≥ 6 LTs), 7 centers]; Group 2 [less-experienced (< 6 LTs), 23 centers]. Post-transplant mortality due to all-cause and recurrence of Ph-CCA were set as endpoints.
RESULTS: Post-transplant outcomes were significantly better in Group 1 than in Group 2, with 1-, 3-, and 5-year patient survival rates of 91.8%, 56.9%, and 45.8%, versus 65.6%, 48.8%, and 26.0%, respectively. Group 2 showed a significantly higher risk of 1-, 3-, and 5-year all-cause mortality and 1-year mortality associated with Ph-CCA recurrence. Center experience was an independent risk factor for post-transplant mortality. In intention-to-treat analysis, a positive prognostic effect of LT was significant and LT decreased the mortality risk by 86% in the well-experienced group [hazard ratio (HR) 0.14, p < 0.001], whereas this effect was not observed in the less-experienced group (HR 1.35, p = 0.47).
CONCLUSIONS: Risk of recurrence of malignancy and mortality was significantly higher in the less-experienced center group. Center effects on post-transplant outcomes in patients with Ph-CCA should be recognized, and the introduction of center approval for LT for Ph-CCA may be justified to achieve comparable outcomes between centers.
ePub ahead of print