Outcomes of liver transplantation in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) versus non-NASH associated hepatocellular carcinoma

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

HPB (Oxford)


BACKGROUND: Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)-associated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a rising indication for liver transplantation. This unique population, with multiple comorbidities, has potential for worse post-transplant outcomes. We compared post-transplant survival of NASH and non-NASH HCC patients using a large cohort.

METHODS: Adults transplanted for HCC between 2008 and 2018, from United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and University Health Network (UHN) databases were divided into two populations: NASH and non-NASH. Recipient characteristics and post-transplant survival were compared. Subgroup analyses were performed within and beyond Milan criteria.

RESULTS: 2071 of 20,672 (10.0%) patients underwent transplantation for NASH HCC, with annual proportional increase of 1.2%UHN (p = 0.02) and 1.3%UNOS (p < 0.001). The 1-,3-,5-year post-transplant survival were 90.8%, 83.9%, 76.3% NASH HCC versus 91.9%, 82.1%, 74.9% non-NASH HCC (p = 0.94). No survival differences were observed in populations within or beyond Milan. Competing-risk analysis demonstrated no differences in risk for cardiovascular-related death (HR1.24, 95%CI 0.87-1.55, p = 0.16), or HCC recurrence-related death (HR1.21, 95%CI 0.89-1.65, p = 0.23). NASH HCC patients had lower risk of liver-related deaths (HR0.57, 95%CI 0.34-0.98, p = 0.04).

DISCUSSION: NASH HCC is a rising indication for liver transplantation. Despite demographic differences, no post-transplantation survival differences were observed between NASH and non-NASH HCC. This justifies equivalent organ allocation, irrespective of NASH status.

PubMed ID



ePub ahead of print