The effect of prior upper abdominal surgery on outcomes after liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma: An analysis of the database of the organ procurement transplant network

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Abstract

Objectives:

Orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) is the preferred treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in select patients. Many patients listed for OLT have a history of prior upper abdominal surgery (UAS). Repeat abdominal surgery increases operative complexity and may cause a greater incidence of complication. This study sought to compare outcomes after liver transplantation for patients with and without prior UAS.

Methods:

Adult HCC patients undergoing OLT were identified using the database from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (1987–2015). Patients were separated by presence of prior UAS into 2 propensity-matched cohorts. Overall survival (OS) and graft survival (GS) were analyzed by log-rank test and graphed using Kaplan-Meier method. Recipient and donor demographic and clinical characteristics were also studied using Cox regression models.

Results:

A total of 15,043 patients were identified, of whom 6,205 had prior UAS (41.2%). After 1:1 propensity score matching, cohorts (UAS versus no UAS) contained 4,669 patients. UAS patients experienced shorter GS (122 months vs 129 months; P < .001) and shorter OS (130 months vs 141 months; P < .001). Median duration of stay for both cohorts was 8 days. Multivariate Cox regression models revealed that prior UAS was associated with an increased hazard ratio (HR) for GS (HR 1.14; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06–1.22; P < .001) and OS (HR 1.14; 95% CI 1.06–1.23; P < .001).

Conclusion:

Prior UAS is an independent negative predictor of GS and OS after OLT for HCC. OLT performed in patients with UAS remains a well-tolerated and effective treatment for select HCC patients but may alter expected outcomes and influence follow-up protocols.

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