Liver Transplantation for Adult Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Korea: Comparison Between Cadaveric Donor and Living Donor Liver Transplantations

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Current selection criteria of liver transplantation (LT) for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) were derived from the outcomes of cadaveric donor LT (CDLT). We tried to assess the applicability of such criteria to living donor LT (LDLT) through a comparative study between CDLT and LDLT. We analyzed the outcomes of 312 HCC patients who underwent LT at 4 Korean institutions during 1992 to 2002. There were no gross differences of tumor characteristics between CDLT group (n = 75) and LDLT group (n = 237). Overall 3-year survival rate (3-YSR) was 61.1% after CDLT and 73.2% after LDLT including 38 cases of perioperative mortality. Comparison of HCC recurrence curves did not reveal any statistical difference between these 2 groups. Patient survival period till 50% mortality after HCC recurrence was 11 months after CDLT and 7 months after LDLT. Significant risk factors for HCC recurrence were alpha-fetoprotein level, tumor size, microvascular invasion, gross major vessel invasion, bilateral tumor distribution, and histologic differentiation in the LDLT group on univariate analysis, and tumor size, gross major vessel invasion, and histologic differentiation on multivariate analysis. Milan criteria were met in 70.4%: Their 3-YSR was 89.9% after CDLT and 91.4% after LDLT with exclusion of perioperative mortality. University of California San Francisco criteria were met in 77.7%: Their 3-YSR was 88.1% after CDLT and 90.6% after LDLT. In conclusion, we think that currently available selection criteria for HCC patients can be applicable to LDLT without change of prognostic power.

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