Department of Internal Medicine, Taubman Medical Center, University of Michigan, 1500 E. Medical Center Drive, Room 3912, SPC 5362, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many have advocated the preferential use of high risk allografts for hepatocellular carcinoma patients undergoing liver transplantation. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients tend to have relatively preserved liver function, and their outcome is felt to be driven largely by tumor-related factors.
The aim of this study was to compare the relative importance of donor versus recipient factors on post-orthotopic liver transplantation survival among HCC and non-HCC recipients.
The study group included Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients data on adult recipients of deceased donor liver transplants from February 2002 through December 2008. Recipients were classified as HCC based on MELD exception applications and were compared to all other recipients. Predictors of post-LT survival were identified by Cox regression. To test whether donor factors have less impact on survival in HCC patients, interaction terms were created between HCC diagnosis and donor factors.
Of the 40,212 DDLTs during the study period, 29,020 (72 %) met study criteria. A total of 7,786 (27 %) were transplanted with a diagnosis of HCC. The mean donor risk index was 1.5 in both cohorts. The 1-/5-year survival was 88 %/68 % and 87 %/74 % among HCC and non-HCC recipients, respectively (p < 0.0001). On multivariate analysis, there was no statistically significant interaction between HCC diagnosis and DRI (HR 0.94, p = 0.317). Likewise, no interaction was seen between HCC diagnosis and individual donor factors. In both groups, donor and recipient factors carried similar weight in determining post-LT survival.
Contrary to previous assumptions, donor factors play a similar role in determining survival post-LT among HCC patients and non-HCC patients.