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Am J Transplant. 2006 Jun;6(6):1398-406.

No improvement in long-term liver transplant graft survival in the last decade: an analysis of the UNOS data.

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  • 1Terasaki Foundation Laboratory, Los Angeles, California, USA.


We analyzed change in outcomes during two successive 5-year periods (period I = 1992-1996 vs period II = 1997-2002) among 35 186 deceased adult liver transplant recipients reported to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Registry. The 5-year graft survival was 67.4% in the first period and 67.5% in the second, though the 1-year survival had improved from 81.0 to 83.5%. Comparison of blended survival rates during the two study periods showed decreased long-term graft survival in period II, explicable by an increased number of hepatitis C virus cirrhosis (HCV) patients and an increase in patients with HCV antibodies (HCVab) during this later period. Analysis wherein these patients with HCV were excluded revealed the same long-term graft survival during both periods. Non-HCV patients who had HCVab also had worse 5-year graft survival. We conclude that hepatitis C prevented improved outcomes during period II and that improved, more effective, treatment for hepatitis C virus would have great positive impact on overall survival of liver transplant recipients.

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