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18 February 2016 : Original article  

Relevance of Pre-Transplant α-fetoprotein Dynamics in Liver Transplantation for Hepatocellular Cancer

Michał GrątABCDEF, Maciej KrasnodębskiBF, Waldemar PatkowskiDF, Karolina Maria WronkaBF, Łukasz MasiorBF, Jan StypułkowskiBF, Karolina GrątABF, Marek KrawczykABDFG

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.894644

Ann Transplant 2016; 21:115-124

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The magnitude of pre-transplant a-fetoprotein (AFP) changes has been advocated to be a superior predictor of hepatocellular cancer (HCC) recurrence following liver transplantation. The aim of this study was to compare AFP dynamics and last pre-transplant AFP as risk factors for post-transplant HCC recurrence.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Data of 146 patients after liver transplantation for HCC were analyzed retrospectively.

RESULTS: While last pre-transplant AFP was a significant predictor of microvascular invasion (p=0.006) and poor tumor differentiation (p=0.020), AFP slope was associated only with microvascular invasion (p=0.029). Notably, last pre-transplant AFP (p<0.001), but not AFP slope (p=0.279), was an independent risk factor for recurrence. No significant effects of AFP slope were also found following division of patients into those with pre-transplant AFP <100 (p=0.260) and those with AFP >100 (p=0.178) ng/mL. Moreover, prediction of recurrence based on last pre-transplant AFP was superior (p=0.018) to those based on AFP slope. Recurrence-free survival at 5 years was superior in patients with pre-transplant AFP persistently at (97.3%) or dropping to <100 ng/mL (100.0%) as compared to patients with AFP rising to (75.0%) or persistently at >100 ng/mL (38.4%; p<0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: The risk of post-transplant HCC recurrence is dependent on the last pre-transplant AFP regardless of its previous dynamics.

Keywords: alpha-Fetoproteins, Liver Transplantation, Outcome Assessment (Health Care), Recurrence

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Annals of Transplantation eISSN: 2329-0358
Annals of Transplantation eISSN: 2329-0358