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Rev Esp Enferm Dig. 2006 Dec;98(12):899-906.

Survival of patients receiving a liver transplant for hepatocellular carcinoma, and risk of tumor recurrence.

[Article in English, Spanish]

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Unit of Digestive Diseases, Service of Pathology, University Hospital Reina Sofía, Córdoba, Spain.



The goal of this research has been to evaluate the survival, in long and short term, of the patient receiving liver transplant for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the risk of post-transplant tumor relapse and factors related to this complication.


Retrospective study of a consecutive series of patients having had liver transplant for HCC.


Transplant patients for HCC from 1989 to November 2003. Patients were selected due to general limitations of nodule size and quantity, which were subsequently published as Milan criteria. Also, criteria agreed in the Conference of Barcelona were followed in the pre-transplant diagnosis.


The survival of this 81 patients group was of the 80, 61 and 52% for 1, 5 and 10 years respectively. In the 32% of the cases the HCC was an incidental finding in the explant. In the 12.3%, the tumor relapse was verified. The multivariate research identified the size of the nodule (OR=1,7944) (IC 95%=1,1332-2,8413) and the vascular invasion (OR=6,6346) (IC 95%=1,4624-30,1003) as risk factors of relapse.


The liver transplant in selected patients with HCC has good results in medium and long term. The risk of post-transplant tumor relapse becomes notably reduced and is associated with the size of the nodule and the microscopic vascular invasion.

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