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Abstract

Despite improved survival after liver transplantation (OLTX) in HIV-positive individuals treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), some transplant candidates do not survive to OLTX. To determine if pretransplant outcome is related to severity of liver disease and/or HIV infection, we prospectively evaluated 58 consecutive HIV-positive candidates seen at a single center from 1997-2002. Of the 58, 15 (25.9%) were transplanted, whereas 21 (36.2%) died before OLTX, a median one month of evaluation, with more than half of those (12 of 21, 57.1%) dying from infection. By contrast, of 1,359 HIV-negative candidates, 860 (63.3%) were transplanted, whereas 211 (15.5%) died before OLTX (P < 0.001). The cumulative survival following initial evaluation was significantly shorter among HIV-positive than HIV-negative candidates (880 vs. 1,427 days, P = 0.035, Breslow) but was not related to the initial pretransplant MELD score (16 vs. 15), INR (1.5 vs. 1.5), creatinine (1.3 vs. 1.3 mg/dL), or total bilirubin (6.6 vs. 5.7 mg/dL), respectively, all P > 0.05. Among untransplanted HIV-positive candidates, the 21 who died did not differ from the 22 surviving in initial MELD (15 vs. 13), CD4 (230 vs. 327/μL), HIV load (both < 400 copies/mL), HAART intolerance (10/21, 47.6% vs. 10/22, 45.4%), or HCV infection (16/21, 76.2% vs. 16/22, 72.3%), all P > 0.05. Further, the 21 did not differ from the 15 transplanted in pre-OLTX CD4, HIV load, or MELD score, all P > 0.05. In conclusion, pretransplant survival appears shorter in HIV-positive OLTX candidates and is unrelated to severity of liver or HIV disease. Further study is warranted to determine risk factors for poorer pretransplant outcomes. (Liver Transpl 2005;11:1425–1430)