The role and limitation of living donor liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma

Authors

  • Chung-Mau Lo,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for the Study of Liver Disease and Department of Surgery, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China
    • Department of Surgery, University of Hong Kong Medical Centre, Queen Mary Hospital, 102 Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, China
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    • Telephone: 852-28554761; FAX: 852-28175475

  • Sheung-Tat Fan,

    1. Centre for the Study of Liver Disease and Department of Surgery, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China
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  • Chi-Leung Liu,

    1. Centre for the Study of Liver Disease and Department of Surgery, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China
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  • See-Ching Chan,

    1. Centre for the Study of Liver Disease and Department of Surgery, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China
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  • John Wong

    1. Centre for the Study of Liver Disease and Department of Surgery, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China
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Abstract

Liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is restricted by the scarcity of cadaver grafts. Living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) may potentially increase the applicability but its role and limitation are not clear. We studied the outcome of a cohort of 51 patients with unresectable HCC who were accepted on list for both options of deceased donor liver transplantation (DDLT) and LDLT. Twenty-five of 51 (49%) patients had voluntary living donors (group 1) and 26 did not (group 2). Patients in group 1 were younger, and more often had a MELD score more than 20 or blood group other than O. Twenty-one patients of group 1 underwent LDLT after a median waiting time of 24 days (range, 2–126 days), but 4 did not because the donors were not suitable (HBsAg-positive, 2; ABO-incompatible, 1; liver dysfunction, 1). Of the 30 patients who remained on list, only 6 underwent DDLT after a median waiting time of 344 days (range, 22–1359 days, P < .005). Nineteen died before transplantation and 2 were alive but taken off the list because of disease progression (drop-out rate, 70%). One patient was alive on list and 2 had undergone transplantation outside Hong Kong. The 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-year intention-to-treat survival rates were 88%, 76%, 66%, and 66%, respectively, for group 1 and 72%, 46%, 38%, and 31%, respectively, for group 2 (relative risk of death for group 1, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.14 to 0.90; P = .029). In conclusion, although complicated factors such as donor voluntarism and selection criteria limit the role of LDLT for HCC, LDLT allows more patients to undergo early transplantation and results in a better outcome. (Liver Transpl 2004;10:440–447.)

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