Risk Factors for Dropout From the Liver Transplant Waiting List of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Patients Under Locoregional Treatment

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Background: In new organ allocation policy, patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) experience a 6-month delay in being granted Model for End-Stage Liver Disease exception points. However, it may not be fair for patients at risk of early progression of HCC. Methods: All patients who were diagnosed as United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) stage 1 or 2 of HCC between January 2004 and December 2012 were included. Patients who received surgical resection or liver transplant (LT) as a primary treatment and who did not receive any treatment for HCC were excluded. Patients with baseline Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score ≥22 were also excluded because they have a higher chance of receiving LT. Patients who developed extrahepatic progression within 1 year were considered as high-risk for early recurrence after LT. Results: A total of 586 patients were included. Mean (SD) age was 59.9 (10.3) years and 409 patients (69.8%) were men. The cumulative incidence of estimated dropout was 8.9% at 6 months; size of the maximum nodule (≥3 cm) and nonachievement of complete response were independent factors. Extrahepatic progression developed in 16 patients (2.7%) within 1 year; size of the maximum nodule (4 cm) and alpha-fetoprotein level (>100 ng/mL) were independent predictors. Conclusions: The estimated dropout rate from the waiting list within 6 months was 8.9%. Advantage points might be needed for patients with maximum nodule size ≥3 cm or those with noncomplete response. However, in patients with maximum nodule size ≥4 cm or alpha-fetoprotein level >100 ng/mL, caution is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3521-3526
Number of pages6
JournalTransplantation Proceedings
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 1


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation

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