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October 1990

Is Liver Transplantation Justified for the Treatment of Hepatic Malignancies?

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Drs Olthoff, Millis, Ramming, and Busuttil) and Medicine (Drs Rosove and Goldstein), UCLA School of Medicine.

Arch Surg. 1990;125(10):1261-1268. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1990.01410220045007

• Twenty-eight patients received orthotopic liver transplants for malignant disease between February 1, 1984, and December 31, 1989. Preoperative diagnoses included hepatocellular carcinoma (n = 16), cholangiocarcinoma (n = 3), other primary hepatic tumors (n = 6), and metastatic diseases to the liver (n = 3). Overall actuarial survivals at 6 months, 1 year, and 5 years were 67.3%, 51%, and 31%, respectively. Long-term survival longer than 5 years was achieved in 3 patients. The recurrence rate in patients surviving longer than 3 months is 48% (median, 7 months). Hepatocellular carcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma had the poorest survival and highest recurrence rates. Specific prognostic factors correlating with survival or recurrence could not be elucidated. These results indicate that orthotopic liver transplants can provide long-term cure and palliation for malignant disease; however, patient selection is extremely important in predicting outcome.

(Arch Surg. 1990;125:1261-1268)