Mortality predictors in liver transplant recipients with recurrent hepatitis C cirrhosis


Sammy Saab, MD, MPH, Pfleger Liver Institute, UCLA Medical Center, 200 Medical Plaza, Suite 214, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.
Tel: 310-206-6705 (V)
Fax: 310-206-4197 (F)


Abstract: Background/Aim: Recipients of orthotopic liver transplant for hepatitis C (HCV) invariably develop recurrent disease. The risk factors for death and retransplantation following the development of cirrhosis from HCV are unclear. The aim of this study was to identify predictors of survival in liver transplant recipients who develop cirrhosis from recurrent HCV.

Methods: We reviewed records of patients who underwent liver transplantation for cirrhosis due to HCV between January 1990 and December 2001. Prognostic factors of patient survival following the development of recurrent cirrhosis were identified through multivariate analysis.

Results: During the study period, 511 patients underwent transplantation for HCV cirrhosis. Of these, 65 patients (13%) developed biopsy proven recurrent cirrhosis from HCV; 43 (8%) were relisted for transplantation, and 24 (5%) underwent retransplantation. The overall Kaplan–Meier patient survival rates after the histologic diagnosis of cirrhosis at 1 and 5 years were 66% and 30%, respectively. A multivariate Cox proportional hazards model showed patients with higher last (i.e. at follow-up or prior to retransplantation) International normalized ratio (INR) values (hazard ratios (HR)=2.02, 95% confidence interval 1.26, 3.24, P<0.01) to have an increased risk of death.

Conclusion: Our results suggested survival was decreased after the diagnosis of cirrhosis from recurrent HCV. Higher INR was associated with an increased risk of death following the development of cirrhosis.