Although older age theoretically might be a negative risk factor for liver transplantation (LT) outcomes, age alone should not exclude a patient from waiting list. This study is to investigate the outcomes of elderly hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) recipients which meet Milan criteria.
A retrospective study was performed in a single liver transplantation center. Demographic and clinical data of 110 HCC LDLT recipients from January 2004 to December 2012 were collected and analyzed, including 31 elderly recipients in group E (≥60 years) and 79 younger recipients in group Y (<60 years).
Recipients’ age between 2 groups were significantly different (65.4 ± 4.8 vs 49.9 ± 5.9, P = 0.000). There was no significant difference in preoperative demographic data as well as postoperative liver function. Complication rates, length of ICU and hospital stay, graft loss, and mortality were similar in both groups, as well as the 1-, and 3-year overall and disease-free survival rates (77.4%, and 64.5% vs 82.8%, and 44.6%, P = 0.458; 94.7%, and 80.7% vs 98.6%, and 85.9%, P = 0.661). When recipients were further stratified into group E1, E2, Y1, and Y2, no significant difference was found in 1-, and 3-year overall and disease-free survival rates. In multivariate analysis, recipients’ age was not a predictor for long-term survival.
Following rigorous listing criteria, if overall clinical conditions and comorbidities allowed, elderly HCC recipients achieved similar LDLT outcomes and survival rates with the younger HCC recipients.