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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 273-279

Risk factors for early and late recurrence in hepatocellular carcinoma after liver transplantation


1 Department of Surgery, Division of General Surgery, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan
2 Department of Surgery, Division of Pediatric Surgery, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Chen Teng-Wei
Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei
Taiwan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jmedsci.jmedsci_160_20

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Background: Risk factors of early and late recurrence in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after liver transplantation (LT) remain unclear. Aim: To identify factors that affect, both early and late recurrence in this setting. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed outcomes of 220 patients with HCC who received LT. Two patients who underwent re-transplantation were excluded. Early, late, and very late recurrence were defined as recurrence in the 1st year, 1–5 years, and >5 years after LT, respectively. Kaplan–Meier survival curves were generated, and log-rank tests were performed to compare survival between these groups. Univariate and multivariate Cox proportional-hazard models for risks of early and late recurrence were established. Results: Twenty and 19 patients experienced HCC recurrence in the 1st year and between 1 and 5 years, respectively, after undergoing LT. The groups differed significantly in cumulative postrecurrence survival rate. The hazard ratio of early recurrence for tumor size >3 cm was 1.766 (P = 0.046) and that for tumor number >3 was 1.929 (P = 0.027). Alpha-fetoprotein >20 ng/mL was a predictor of early recurrence in multivariate analysis (P = 0.077). The hazard ratio of late recurrence for HCC with microvascular invasion was 1.891 (P = 0.047). Conclusion: The recurrence rate of HCC was high in the 1st year after LT. Patients with early recurrence had a poorer survival rate than those with late recurrence. Tumor size >3 cm and tumor number >3 were risk factors of early recurrence. Microvascular invasion was a risk factor for late recurrence. Close individual surveillance is needed in patients with these risk factors.


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