Ann Surg Treat Res.  2021 Jul;101(1):28-36. 10.4174/astr.2021.101.1.28.

Risk factors for poor survival after recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma after liver transplantation

  • 1Department of Surgery, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


This study was designed to analyze the risk factors for poor survival after recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma after liver transplantation.
Patients who underwent liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma during the period of 2007 to 2018 were reviewed and patients who experienced recurrence were included. Multivariable Cox proportional hazard ratios were performed for potential risk factors for survival after recurrence.
A total of 151 recipients experienced hepatocellular carcinoma recurrence after liver transplantation. The median of the recurrence-free period was 9.3 months (0.89–97.25 months). The median follow-up after recurrence was 13.4 months (0.59–118.28 months). One-, 3-, and 5-year survival after recurrence were 65.2%, 34.0% and 20.5%, respectively. Multivariable Cox analysis showed that, graft from living donor (hazard ratio [HR], 0.430; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.210–0.882; P = 0.021), recurrence-free interval of ≥9 months (HR, 0.257; 95% CI, 0.164–0.403; P < 0.001), alphafetoprotein of ≥100 ng/mL at the time of recurrence (HR, 1.689; 95% CI, 1.059–2.695; P = 0.028), and recurrence in bone (HR, 2.304; 95% CI, 1.399–3.794; P = 0.001) and everolimus within 3 months after recurrence (HR, 0.354; 95% CI, 0.141–0.889; P = 0.027) were related to survival after recurrence.
Although survival was generally poor after recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma in liver transplantation recipients, prolonged survival can be achieved in certain patients with better prognostic factors.


Hepatocellular carcinoma; Liver transplantation; Recurrence
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