Department of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China ; Key Laboratory of Combined Multi-Organ Transplantation, Ministry of Public Health, First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China ; Key Laboratory of Organ Transplantation, First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.
Hepatitis B virus-associated hepatocellular carcinoma (HBV-HCC) and hepatitis C virus (HCV)-HCC are the main indications for liver transplantation. We compared differences in survival outcomes between these two conditions.
METHODS AND FINDINGS:
The China Liver Transplant Registry (CLTR) contains data collated from all transplants performed in 86 liver transplantation centers across China. We analyzed CLTR data from January 1999 to December 2010. In all, 7,658 patients (7,162 with HBV-HCC and 496 with HCV-HCC) were included in this study. Clinical characteristics were compared between the HBV-HCC and HCV-HCC groups; Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to calculate the overall, tumor-free and hepatitis-free survival rates. The 1-year, 3-year and 5-year overall survival was significantly higher in HBV-HCC recipients than in HCV-HCC recipients (76.65%, 56.61% and 49.10% vs. 64.59%, 42.78% and 39.20%, respectively; P<0.001). The corresponding tumor-free survival rates (63.55%, 47.37%, 40.99% vs. 56.84%, 38.04%, 35.66%, respectively) and hepatitis-free survival rates (75.49%, 54.84%, 47.34% vs. 63.87%, 42.15%, 39.33%, respectively) were both superior in HBV-HCC recipients (both P<0.001). Multivariate analyses identified hepatitis, preoperative alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) level, size of largest tumor, number of tumor nodules, TNM stage, vascular invasion and preoperative model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score as independent predictors of overall, tumor-free and hepatitis-free survival.
Survival outcomes after liver transplantation were significantly better in HBV-HCC patients than in HCV-HCC patients. This finding may be used to guide donor liver allocation in transplantation programs.