Living Donor Liver Transplantation for Hepatocellular Carcinoma Within and Outside Traditional Selection Criteria: A Multicentric North American Experience

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Annals of surgery


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate long-term oncologic outcomes of patients post-living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) within and outside standard transplantation selection criteria and the added value of the incorporation of the New York-California (NYCA) score.

BACKGROUND: LDLT offers an opportunity to decrease the liver transplantation waitlist, reduce waitlist mortality, and expand selection criteria for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

METHODS: Primary adult LDLT recipients between October 1999 and August 2019 were identified from a multicenter cohort of 12 North American centers. Posttransplantation and recurrence-free survival were evaluated using the Kaplan-Meier method.

RESULTS: Three hundred sixty LDLTs were identified. Patients within Milan criteria (MC) at transplantation had a 1, 5, and 10-year posttransplantation survival of 90.9%, 78.5%, and 64.1% versus outside MC 90.4%, 68.6%, and 57.7% ( P = 0.20), respectively. For patients within the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) criteria, respective posttransplantation survival was 90.6%, 77.8%, and 65.0%, versus outside UCSF 92.1%, 63.8%, and 45.8% ( P = 0.08). Fifty-three (83%) patients classified as outside MC at transplantation would have been classified as either low or acceptable risk with the NYCA score. These patients had a 5-year overall survival of 72.2%. Similarly, 28(80%) patients classified as outside UCSF at transplantation would have been classified as a low or acceptable risk with a 5-year overall survival of 65.3%.

CONCLUSIONS: Long-term survival is excellent for patients with HCC undergoing LDLT within and outside selection criteria, exceeding the minimum recommended 5-year rate of 60% proposed by consensus guidelines. The NYCA categorization offers insight into identifying a substantial proportion of patients with HCC outside the MC and the UCSF criteria who still achieve similar post-LDLT outcomes as patients within the criteria.

Medical Subject Headings

Adult; Humans; Carcinoma, Hepatocellular; Liver Transplantation; Liver Neoplasms; Living Donors; Neoplasm Recurrence, Local; Patient Selection; North America; Retrospective Studies; Treatment Outcome

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