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World J Gastroenterol. 2010 Jul 21;16(27):3457-64.

Impact of human leukocyte antigen mismatching on outcomes of liver transplantation: a meta-analysis.

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  • 1Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery and Liver Transplantation Centre, Children's Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, 136, Zhongshan 2nd Road, Yuzhong District, Chongqing 400014, China.



To assess the effect of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) mismatching on liver graft outcome and acute rejection from a meta-analysis of available cohort studies.


Articles in PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane database from January 1970 to June 2009, including non-English literature identified in these databases, were searched. Only studies comparing HLA or sub-phenotype matching with mismatching were extracted. The percentage of graft survival was extracted by "Engauge Digitizer" from survival curves if the raw data were not displayed. A meta-analysis was performed when at least 3 studies provided data.


Sixteen studies met the inclusion criteria. A lower number of HLA mismatches (0-2 vs 3-6) did reduce the incidence of acute rejection (relative risk: 0.77, P = 0.03). The degree of HLA mismatching (0-2 vs 3-6) had no significant effect on 1-year [hazard ratio (HR): 1.04, P = 0.68] and 5-year (HR: 1.09, P = 0.38) graft survival. In sub-phenotype analysis, the degree of HLA-A, B and DR mismatching (0 vs 1-2) had no significant effect on 1-year and 5-year graft survival, either. The HRs and P-values were 0.95, 0.71 (HLA-A, 1-year); 1.06, 0.60 (HLA-A, 5-year); 0.77, 0.16 (HLA-B, 1-year); 1.07, 0.56 (HLA-DR, 1-year); 1.18, 0.23 (HLA-DR, 5-year), respectively.


The results of this systematic review imply that good HLA compatibility can reduce the incidence of acute rejection in spite of having no influence on graft outcomes. To obtain a short recovery time and minimize rejection post transplantation, HLA matching studies should be considered before the operation.

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