Hepatitis C virus infection with hepatocellular carcinoma: Not a controversial indication for liver transplantation

Hector Rodriguez-Luna, Vijayan Balan, Pratima Sharma, Thomas Byrne, David Mulligan, Jorge Rakela, Hugo E. Vargas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background. The association of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been identified as a potential contraindication for orthotopic liver transplantation (LT) because of lower survival rate compared with other indications. Aim. Evaluate the outcome of patients with and without HCC and cirrhosis with and without chronic HCV infection undergoing transplantation. Determine the postLT HCC recurrence rate and frequency of de novo postLT HCC. Patients and Methods. United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) data was collected from January 1998 to December 2002. Cohort included 17,968 patients (11,552 M; 6,416 F) with a mean age of 51 (18-87) years. Four groups were established: HCV (n=7,079), HCC (n=611), HCV+HCC (n=1,078), and no HCV/no HCC (n=9,200). The overall survival rate was calculated at 24 and 48 months postLT. Results. Patient survival at 24 months and 48 months was 84% and 75% for HCV, 84% and 68% for HCC, 78% and 72% for HCV+HCC, and 85% and 80% for no HCV/no HCC, respectively. Survival at 48 months among the two groups was not significantly different (NS). Further analysis of these groups revealed a statistically significant advantage in survival at 48 months postLT for the no HCV/no HCC group when compared with the HCV group.(P<0.05) The reported rate of postLT HCC recurrence and de novo postLT HCC was 3.3% and 0.05%, respectively. Conclusion. In this large cohort of U.S. patients, HCC does not have an impact on the survival of LT patients infected with HCV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)580-583
Number of pages4
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 27 2004


  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Liver transplantation outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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