OBJECTIVES: The relative success of liver transplantation in those with HIV compared to HIV-uninfected individuals remains a point of intense debate. We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of liver transplantation in HIV-hepatitis co-infected patients using a meta-analysis and individual patient data meta-analysis as a synthetic cohort.
METHODS: We searched MEDLINE via PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane CENTRAL, AIDSLINE (inception to 2010), AMED, CINAHL, TOXNET, Development and Reproductive Toxicology, Hazardous Substances Databank, Psych-info and relevant conferences. We included cohort studies and individual case-reports evaluating survival of co-infected transplant patients. We abstracted data on cohort and case demographics and outcomes. We pooled cohorts using a random-effects analysis and created a synthetic cohort of cases using individual patient data. We confirmed this with the pooled cohort analysis.
RESULTS: We included 15 cohort studies and 49 case series with individual patient data. At 12 months, 84.4% [95% confidence interval (CI) 81.1-87.8%] of patients had survived. Within the HIV-infected population evaluated, HIV-hepatitis B virus (HBV) co-infection was associated with optimal survival. In an adjusted model, individuals positive for HBV were 8.28 (95% CI 2.26-30.33) times more likely to survive when compared to those without HBV. Further, individuals with an undetectable HIV viral load at the time of transplantation were 2.89 (95% CI 1.41-5.91) times more likely to survive when compared to those with detectable HIV viremia. Hepatitis C virus was not a predictor of patient survival when adjusted for by other key predictors [0.54 (95% CI 0.17-1.80)].