Pattern of hepatocellular carcinoma recurrence following living donor liver transplantation

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Abstract

Aim:

Living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) is a promising treatment option for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but tumour recurrence can affect long-term survival. The aim of the present study was to identify the pattern of HCC recurrence after LDLT for early detection and management.

Patients and Methods:

From April 2003 to October 2014, the record of 60 patients who underwent LDLT for HCC at the National Liver Institute, Menoufia University, Egypt, were retrospectively reviewed. The clinicopathological data were analysed to determine factors associated with HCC recurrence and outcome.

Results:

Seven patients (11.7 per cent) had HCC recurrence after LDLT. Pretransplant α-fetoprotein (AFP) > 1000 ng/mL, tumour grade and microvascular invasion were the incriminated risk factors for recurrence. Three patients (42.8 per cent) had intrahepatic and extrahepatic recurrence (lung and bone), two patients (28.6 per cent) had only extrahepatic recurrence in bones and two patients (28.6 per cent) had only intrahepatic recurrence. Management was as follows: two patients (28.6 per cent) had surgical excision of intrahepatic recurrence and extrahepatic metastasis, two patients (28.6 per cent) underwent radiotherapy for bone metastasis, one patient (14.2 per cent) underwent intraoperative radiofrequency ablation for liver recurrence and two patients (28.6 per cent) received sorafenib as medical treatment. The mean time of recurrence was 19.7 months, and mean survival was 29 months.

Conclusion:

The majority of HCC recurrences after LDLT are extrahepatic and occur mainly in the first 2 years; strict follow up is required during this period. A high level of pretransplant serum AFP and microvascular invasion are risk factors for tumour recurrence and should be taken into account when selecting candidates for LDLT.

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