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Transplant Proc. 2008 Jun;40(5):1511-7. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2008.03.156.

Association between hepatitis B and hepatocellular carcinoma recurrence in patients undergoing liver transplantation.

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  • 1Ege University, Organ Transplantation Center, Izmir, Turkey.



Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) recurrences affect both patient and graft survivals post-orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) in HBV patients with HCC. We analyzed the relationship between HBV and HCC recurrence in a large cohort of HBV-OLT patients with versus without HCC.


Two hundred eighty-seven HBV patients with OLT (72 also with HCC) were included in the study. Mean follow-up in the post-OLT period was 31.7 +/- 24.7 (range, 3-119) months.


Post-OLT HBV recurrence observed in 10.1% of patients was more prevalent among the HCC group; 23.6% versus 5.5% in patients with and without HCC, respectively. The mean interval for the development of HBV recurrence was 39.5 +/- 28.5 (range, 2-99) months. Among 72 HCC patients, 8 patients (11.1%) had recurrent HCC, and 7 of them also had HBV recurrence. The mean interval for the development of HCC recurrence was 11.2 +/- 7.85 (range, 2-23) months after OLT. OLT patients with HCC with tumors exceeding the Milan criteria had worse 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates than patients with HCC meeting the Milan criteria. HBV and HCC recurrence-free survivals were significantly lower in patients with HCC and HBV recurrence, respectively. In the 7 patients with both HCC and HBV recurrence, mean HBV recurrence time was 9.42 +/- 6.75 months and mean HCC recurrence time was 9.57 +/- 6.75 months. There was a strong correlation between HBV and HCC recurrence times. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis showed that only HCC recurrence was a significant independent predictor of HBV recurrence (P < .001; hazard ratio [HR] = 26.94; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 10.81-67.11). On the other hand, HBV recurrence (P = .013; HR = 5.80; 95% CI = 1.45-23.17) and nodule count (P = .014; HR = 13.08; 95% CI = 1.70-100.83) were significant predictors of HCC recurrence.


HBV and HCC recurrences demonstrate a close relationship in patients with OLT.

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