ABO-incompatible Living Donor Liver Transplantation With Rituximab and Total Plasma Exchange Does Not Increase Hepatocellular Carcinoma Recurrence

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BackgroundABO-incompatible (ABO-I) living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) has a high success rate. This study compares hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) recurrence in ABO-I LDLT with that in ABO-compatible (ABO-C) LDLT and explores the effects of rituximab prophylaxis and total plasma exchange on HCC recurrence after LDLT.MethodsTwo hundred forty patients with a diagnosis of HCC underwent LDLT between 2010 and 2015. Fifty-nine patients underwent ABO-I LDLT.ResultsBaseline, perioperative, and tumor characteristics did not vary between the 2 groups. The 1-, 2-, and 3-year disease-free survival rates in the ABO-I LDLT and ABO-C LDLT groups were 90.3%, 79.7%, and 73.3% and 86.7%, 79.0%, and 75.3%, respectively (P = 0.96). The overall patient survival rates for the same period in the ABO-I LDLT and ABO-C LDLT groups were 90.6%, 85.0%, and 81.9% and 88.0%, 83.5%, and 82.5%, respectively (P = 0.77). Hepatocellular carcinoma recurrence after LDLT was associated with preoperative α-fetoprotein greater than 35 ng/mL, increased tumor size, encapsulation, and microvascular invasion. ABO incompatibility was not related to HCC recurrence after LDLT.ConclusionsHepatocellular carcinoma recurrence and patient survival in the ABO-I LDLT group are comparable to those in the ABO-C LDLT group. Rituximab prophylaxis and total plasma exchange do not increase HCC recurrence after LT.

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