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Liver Transpl. 2007 Jun;13(6):896-903.

Living donor liver transplantation of the right lobe for hepatocellular carcinoma in cirrhosis in a European center.

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  • 1Department of General, Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, Charité Campus Virchow-Klinikum, University Medicine Berlin, Germany.


Living donor liver transplantation of the right lobe might offer the possibility to extend the eligibility criteria of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in cirrhosis without penalizing patients who are waiting for a graft from a deceased donor. From 1988 to 2005, surgical treatment of HCC was performed in 580 patients (187 transplantation, 393 resection) in a European center. In the transplantation group, 21 patients with HCC in cirrhosis underwent LDLT (11% of all transplantations for HCC; 22% of 96 LDLT). Solitary HCC were accepted irrespective of their diameter unless vascular invasion was detectable. Multiple HCC nodes were considered acceptable up to a diameter of the largest node of 6 cm and a total tumor diameter of 15 cm. The median follow-up period was 26 months (range, 1-65 months). Vascular invasion had occurred in 12 patients (57%). One patient (4.8%) died within 60 days after transplantation from sepsis. Rates of 3-year survival and 3-year recurrence-free survival were 68% and 64%, respectively. Overall 3-year survival rates in patients with HCC in cirrhosis not meeting the Milan criteria (n = 13) or the San Francisco criteria (n = 8) were 62% and 53%, respectively. LDLT is a safe procedure. However, small sample sizes do not yet permit a definitive comparison to be made between the former results obtained after cadaveric donation. So far, the outcome of the patients is in favor of a careful extension of the selection criteria for HCC in cirrhosis.

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