Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.
This study aimed to analyze the clinical outcomes and factors influencing the outcome in the recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after living donor liver transplantation (LDLT). Between October, 1997 and September, 2010, 25 (16.0%) of 156 patients who had undergone LDLT for HCC experienced recurrence. All patients with recurrence, with a single exception, were in the high-risk group. Among patients with recurrence, 76.0% of patients experienced recurrence within one yr after LDLT. One- and five-yr survival rates of recurred patients were 56.0% and 8.6%, respectively. Among them, 32% of patients were treated with curative-intent treatment, and their one- and five-yr survival rates were 62.5% and 25.0%, respectively. Beyond the Milan criteria at liver transplantation (LT) (p = 0.032), multiple recurrence (p = 0.001), and palliative treatment for recurrent tumors (p = 0.049) were related to poor survival after recurrence. Additionally, the independent prognostic factors included multiple recurrence (p = 0.005) and the Milan criteria at LT (p = 0.047). Because almost all recurrent cases belonged to the high-risk group and recurred within two yr, the high-risk group should undergo close follow-up for early detection and be treated with liver-directed therapies. Although the prognosis of recurrent HCC after LDLT is poor, long-term survival can be expected on a single recurrence and curative treatment.