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Liver Transpl. 2008 Aug;14(8):1107-15. doi: 10.1002/lt.21484.

Total tumor volume predicts risk of recurrence following liver transplantation in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Section of Hepatobiliary, Pancreatic, and Transplant Surgery, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


Criteria for the selection of candidates for liver transplantation in the presence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) should accurately predict posttransplant recurrence while not excluding excessive numbers of patients from candidacy. Existing criteria are challenged by the limited accuracy of radiological assessment. The total tumor volume (TTV) was calculated by the addition of the volume of each individual tumor. A preliminary analysis was carried out on HCC patient data from the Alberta Liver Transplant Program (52 patients) and then validated on the populations of the Universities of Toronto and Colorado programs (154 and 82 patients). A TTV cutoff of 115 cm(3) was chosen on the basis of the risk of recurrence with use of a receiver operating characteristic curve. Radiology correlated more closely to pathology with TTV than with Milan and University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) criteria (91% versus 69% and 75% of patients, P < 0.0001). Although more patients met qualifying criteria for transplant with TTV (28%-53% more than Milan and 16%-26% more than UCSF), no deterioration of outcome was demonstrated in an analysis of patients within TTV < or = 115 cm(3) in comparison with those meeting Milan or UCSF classifications at all institutions. Patients with TTV > 115 cm(3) experienced more recurrences and lower patient survival in the Alberta and Colorado series (P < 0.05). When TTV with a cutoff of 115 cm(3) is used for candidate selection, the accuracy of pretransplant radiological assessment is enhanced, with posttransplant outcomes not different from those achieved with Milan and UCSF classifications despite a more inclusive patient population.

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