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Eur Surg Res. 2008;40(1):7-13. Epub 2007 Aug 23.

Single-center experience on liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma arising in alcoholic cirrhosis: results and ethical issues.

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  • 1Department of General, Visceral, and Transplantation Surgery, University Hospital Essen, Essen, Germany.



Liver transplantation is currently recognized as the optimal treatment for both early hepatocellular carcinoma in the setting of cirrhosis (HCC) as well as for alcoholic liver disease (ALD). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcome of patients with HCC and ALD in the absence of viral hepatitic infections.


Twelve recipients were transplanted with a diagnosis of HCC and ALD in the absence of viral hepatitis during a 6-year period. Nine received deceased donor livers, and 3 live donor grafts. Our results were compared to those obtained by a search of the world literature.


The postoperative course was uneventful in all but one patient. All recipients experienced a good quality of life postoperatively. Three-year overall and recurrence-free survival rates were 82 and 73%, respectively. Nine patients are currently alive, after a median follow-up of 29 months.


This is the first study to evaluate liver transplantation for HCC in ALD. Although outcomes are excellent, the evaluation of patients with ALD and HCC constitutes a challenging topic in transplantation surgery, especially when live liver donation is considered. An interdisciplinary structured approach is recommended, with special emphasis on ethical considerations.

(c) 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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