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Transplant Proc. 2009 Oct;41(8):3135-7. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2009.08.016.

Impact of tumor characteristic on the outcome of liver transplantation in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of General, Transplant and Liver Surgery, Medical University of Warsaw, Banacha 1a, 02-097 Warsaw, Poland.



Orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) is a well-established treatment for cirrhotic patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who meet the Milan criteria. The aim of this study was to identify predictors of survival among 65 patients with HCC in cirrhotic livers who underwent liver transplantation (OLT).


From January 2001 to December 2008, we performed 655 OLT in 615 patients. HCC was diagnosed in 58 patients before OLT and in 65 by histological examination of the explanted livers; 74% of the patients met Milan criteria by histological examination.


The median follow-up was 27 months (range = 1-96). We analyzed patient age and gender, etiology of liver disease, Child score at transplantation, rejection episodes, tumor number/size, vascular invasion, and differentiation grade. There was no significant difference in survival among patients grouped according to the Model for End-stage Liver Disease staging system for HCC. The 5-year survival of patients with low differentiated (G3) HCC was significantly worse than that of those with moderately differentiated (G2) or well-differentiated (G1) HCC: 50%, 81%, and 86% respectively, (P < .01). Patients with microvascular invasion displayed a worse 5-year survival than those without vascular invasion (42% vs 80%; P < .01).


The analysis indicated that the histological grade of the tumors and evidences of microscopic vascular invasion were the most useful predictive factors for overall survival among patients with cirrhosis after liver transplantation for HCC.

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