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Abstract

Liver transplantation (LT) has become an accepted therapy for end-stage liver disease in human immunodeficiency virus–positive (HIV+) patients, but the specific results of LT for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are unknown. Between 2003 and 2008, 21 HIV+ patients and 65 HIV− patients with HCC were listed for LT at a single institution. Patient characteristics and pathological features were analyzed. Univariate analysis for overall survival (OS) and recurrence-free survival (RFS) after LT was applied to identify the impact of HIV infection. HIV+ patients were younger than HIV− patients [median age: 48 (range = 41-63 years) versus 57 years (range = 37-72 years), P< 0.001] and had a higher alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) level [median AFP level: 16 (range = 3-7154 μg/L] versus 13 μg/L (range = 1-552 μg/L), P = 0.04]. There was a trend toward a higher dropout rate among HIV+ patients (5/21, 23%) versus HIV− patients (7/65, 10%, P = 0.08). Sixteen HIV+ patients and 58 HIV− patients underwent transplantation after median waiting times of 3.5 (range = 0.5-26 months) and 2.0 months (range = 0.5-24 months, P = 0.18), respectively. No significant difference was observed in the pathological features of HCC. With median follow-up times of 27 (range = 5-74 months) and 36 months (range = 3-82 months, P = 0.40), OS after LT at 1 and 3 years reached 81% and 74% in HIV+ patients and 93% and 85% in HIV− patients, respectively (P = 0.08). RFS rates at 1 and 3 years were 69% and 69% in HIV+ patients and 89% and 84% in HIV− patients, respectively (P = 0.09). In univariate analysis, HIV status did not emerge as a prognostic factor for OS or RFS. Conclusion: Because of a higher dropout rate among HIV+ patients, HIV infection impaired the results of LT for HCC on an intent-to-treat basis but had no significant impact on OS and RFS after LT. (HEPATOLOGY 2011;53:475-482)