Special Issue "Liver Transplantation"

A special issue of Journal of Clinical Medicine (ISSN 2077-0383). This special issue belongs to the section "Gastroenterology & Hepatopancreatobiliary Medicine".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Paolo Muiesan
Website
Guest Editor
Liver Unit, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK; Hepatobiliary Unit, Careggi University Hospital, University of Florence, Florence, Italy
Interests: HPB and liver transplantation surgery, adult and paediatric, surgery for cholangiocarcinoma, for epatocellular carcinoma. Ex situ and ante situ liver resection. Mini invasive HPB hepatic and pancreatic surgery

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Clinical practice and research in the field of liver transplantation is moving at a fast pace. The breakthrough in HCV treatment in the past 5 years has already had an impact on the numbers of patients affected by HCV cirrhosis that will not progress to liver decompensation and failure. This is having a significant impact on the current and future indications for this procedure. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis has become one of the major indications for liver transplantation in the western world, where obesity has become endemic. Transplant oncology is becoming a big part of most liver transplant centres worldwide. This includes further expansions of the criteria for transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma and transplantation for diseases which were once contraindicated such as cholangiocarcinoma and colorectal liver metastatic disease.

Shortage of cadaveric donors led to the growth of living donor liver transplant centres worldwide. The expansion of liver transplant programs from donors after circulatory death (DCD) in the past 2 decades has shown how, in a number of countries, you can expect to increase the number of liver grafts by 20 to 30% using DCDs. However these and other marginal donors have issues which may limit their use, including the possibility of primary non function, acute kidney injury and biliary complications, which may be responsible for early and late graft loss. In the attempt to overcome these concerns, research has focused of modern organ preservation devices including in situ normothermic abdominal perfusion, particularly in DCD donors using a technique similar to ECMO, and extracorporeal machines perfusing and preserving livers and other organs out of the body. This allows for a test of functionality prior to implantation, making transplant a safer practice, and for prolonged storage, thus helping with difficult logistics. Further research is looking at potential improvement of marginal livers like defatting steatotic grafts.

Prof. Dr. Paolo Muiesan
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Non alcoholic steatohepatitis
  • Cholangiocarcinoma
  • Colorectal metastatic liver disease
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Normothermic regional perfusion
  • Extracorporeal machine preservation
  • Auxiliary liver transplantation
  • Domino liver transplantation

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Deregulation of the Purine Pathway in Pre-Transplant Liver Biopsies Is Associated with Graft Function and Survival after Transplantation
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(3), 711; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9030711 - 05 Mar 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
The current shortage of livers for transplantation has increased the use of marginal organs sourced from donation after circulatory death (DCD). However, these organs have a higher incidence of graft failure, and pre-transplant biomarkers which predict graft function and survival remain limited. Here, [...] Read more.
The current shortage of livers for transplantation has increased the use of marginal organs sourced from donation after circulatory death (DCD). However, these organs have a higher incidence of graft failure, and pre-transplant biomarkers which predict graft function and survival remain limited. Here, we aimed to find biomarkers of liver function before transplantation to allow better clinical evaluation. Matched pre- and post-transplant liver biopsies from DCD (n = 24) and donation after brain death (DBD, n = 70) were collected. Liver biopsies were analysed using mass spectroscopy molecular phenotyping. Discrimination analysis was used to parse metabolites differentiated between the two groups. Five metabolites in the purine pathway were investigated. Of these, the ratios of the levels of four metabolites to those of urate differed between DBD and DCD biopsies at the pre-transplantation stage (q < 0.05). The ratios of Adenosine monophosphate (AMP) and adenine levels to those of urate also differed in biopsies from recipients experiencing early graft function (EGF) (q < 0.05) compared to those of recipients experiencing early allograft dysfunction (EAD). Using random forest, a panel consisting of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and the ratios of AMP, adenine, and hypoxanthine levels to urate levels predicted EGF with area under the curve (AUC) of 0.84 (95% CI (0.71, 0.97)). Survival analysis revealed that the metabolite classifier could stratify six-year survival outcomes (p = 0.0073). At the pre-transplantation stage, a panel composed of purine metabolites and ALT could improve the prediction of EGF and survival. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver Transplantation)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Preformed Antibodies in Liver Transplantation
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(3), 708; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9030708 - 05 Mar 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
The significance of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) matching and preformed donor-specific antibodies (DSAs) in liver transplantation remains unclear. The aim of this study was to analyze the presence of DSAs in a large cohort of 810 liver recipients undergoing liver transplant to determine [...] Read more.
The significance of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) matching and preformed donor-specific antibodies (DSAs) in liver transplantation remains unclear. The aim of this study was to analyze the presence of DSAs in a large cohort of 810 liver recipients undergoing liver transplant to determine the influence on acute (AR) or chronic liver rejection (CR), graft loss and allograft survival. DSAs were identified using complement dependent cytotoxicity crossmatch (CDC-CM) and multiplexed solid-phase-based flow cytometry assay (Luminex). CDC-CM showed that a 3.2% of liver transplants were positive (+CDC-CM) with an AR frequency of 19.2% which was not different from that observed in negative patients (−CDC-CM, 22.3%). Only two patients transplanted with +CDC-CM (7.6%) developed CR and suffered re-transplant. +CDC-CM patients showed a significantly lower survival rate compared to −CDC-CM patients (23.1% vs. 59.1%, p = 0.0003), developing allograft failure within the first three months (p < 0.00001). In conclusion, we have demonstrated a relationship between the presence of preformed DSAs and the low graft liver survival, indicating the important role and the potential interest of performing this analysis before liver transplantation. Our results could help to detect patients with an increased risk of graft loss, a better choice of liver receptors as well as the establishment of individualized immunosuppressive regimens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver Transplantation)
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Open AccessArticle
Prophylactic Anti-Cytomegalovirus Hyperimmunoglobulin in Critically Ill Liver Transplant Patients: Impact on Early Immunology and Survival
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(3), 656; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9030656 - 29 Feb 2020
Abstract
Background: Anti-cytomegalovirus hyperimmunoglobulin (CMVIg) was shown to provide beneficial immunodulatory properties beyond antiviral efficacies. The aim of this retrospective study was to assess the impact of prophylactic CMVIg treatment on early outcome following liver transplantation (LT) in critically ill patients. Methods: Forty-three cirrhotic [...] Read more.
Background: Anti-cytomegalovirus hyperimmunoglobulin (CMVIg) was shown to provide beneficial immunodulatory properties beyond antiviral efficacies. The aim of this retrospective study was to assess the impact of prophylactic CMVIg treatment on early outcome following liver transplantation (LT) in critically ill patients. Methods: Forty-three cirrhotic patients requiring pre-LT intensive care due to multiorgan failure were analyzed. Twenty-eight patients with enhanced CMV risk (D+/R+; D+/R−; D−/R+) received prophylactic CMVIg for a minimum of 7 days, while 15 patients (D−/R−) did not. Results: Post-transplantation rates of intra-abdominal infections (28% vs. 61.1%; p = 0.03), Epstein–Barr virus infections (0% vs. 33.3%; p = 0.034), allograft rejections (0% vs. 22.2%; p = 0.013) and sepsis-related mortality (4% vs. 27.8%; p = 0.026) were significantly lower, whereas incidence of CMV infections (4% vs. 22.2%; p = 0.066) tended to be lower in the CMVIg subset. In multivariate analysis, only pretransplant elevated serum lactate level (hazard ratio = 34.63; p = 0.009) and absence of CMVIg therapy (hazard ratio = 21.76; p = 0.023) were identified as independent promoters of 3-month mortality. Conclusion: Prophylactic treatment with CMVIg reduces predisposition for severe immunological and septic events and, thereby, early mortality in critically ill liver recipients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver Transplantation)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Having a Planned Additional Operation at Time of Liver Transplant on Graft and Patient Outcomes
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 608; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020608 - 24 Feb 2020
Abstract
Advances in liver transplantation (LT) have allowed for expanded indications and increased surgical complexity. In select cases, additional surgery may be performed at time of LT rather than prior to LT due to the significant risks associated with advanced liver disease. We retrospectively [...] Read more.
Advances in liver transplantation (LT) have allowed for expanded indications and increased surgical complexity. In select cases, additional surgery may be performed at time of LT rather than prior to LT due to the significant risks associated with advanced liver disease. We retrospectively studied the characteristics and outcomes of patients who underwent an additional planned abdominal or cardiac operation at time of LT between 2011–2019. An additional operation (LT+) was defined as a planned operation performed under the same anesthetic as the LT but not directly related to the LT. In total, 547 patients were included in the study, of which 20 underwent LT+ (4%). Additional operations included 10 gastrointestinal, 5 splenic, 3 cardiac, and 2 other abdominal operations. Baseline characteristics between LT and LT+ groups were similar. The median total operating time was significantly longer in LT+ compared to LT only (451 vs. 355 min, p = 0.002). Graft and patient survival, intraoperative blood loss, transfusion of blood products, length of hospital stay, and post-operative complications were not significantly different between groups. In carefully selected patients undergoing LT, certain additional operations performed at the same time appear to be safe with equivalent short-term outcomes and liver graft survival as those undergoing LT alone Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver Transplantation)
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Open AccessArticle
Intraoperative Oxygen Delivery and Acute Kidney Injury after Liver Transplantation
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 564; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020564 - 19 Feb 2020
Abstract
Although intraoperative hemodynamic variables were reported to be associated with acute kidney injury (AKI) after liver transplantation, the time-dependent association between intraoperative oxygen delivery and AKI has not yet been evaluated. We reviewed 676 cases of liver transplantation. Oxygen delivery index (DO2 [...] Read more.
Although intraoperative hemodynamic variables were reported to be associated with acute kidney injury (AKI) after liver transplantation, the time-dependent association between intraoperative oxygen delivery and AKI has not yet been evaluated. We reviewed 676 cases of liver transplantation. Oxygen delivery index (DO2I) was calculated at least ten times during surgery. AKI was defined according to the Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes criteria. The area under the curve (AUC) was calculated as below a DO2I of 300 (AUC < 300), 400 and 500 mL/min/m2 threshold. Also, the cumulative time below a DO2I of 300 (Time < 300), 400, and 500 mL/min/m2 were calculated. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate whether AUC < 300 or time < 300 was independently associated with the risk of AKI. As a sensitivity analysis, propensity score matching analysis was performed between the two intraoperative mean DO2I groups using a cutoff of 500 ml/min/m2, and the incidence of AKI was compared between the groups. Multivariable analysis showed that AUC < 300 or time < 300 was an independent predictor of AKI (AUC < 300: odds ratio [OR] = 1.10, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.06–1.13, time < 300: OR = 1.10, 95% CI 1.08–1.14). Propensity score matching yielded 192 pairs of low and high mean DO2I groups. The incidence of overall and stage 2 or 3 AKI was significantly higher in the lower DO2I group compared to the higher group (overall AKI: lower group, n = 64 (33.3%) vs. higher group, n = 106 (55.2%), P < 0.001). In conclusion, there was a significant time-dependent association between the intraoperative poor oxygen delivery <300 mL/min/m2 and the risk of AKI after liver transplantation. The intraoperative optimization of oxygen delivery may mitigate the risk of AKI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver Transplantation)
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Open AccessArticle
Mortality on the UNOS Waitlist for Patients with Autoimmune Liver Disease
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020319 - 23 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Background: Outcomes on the liver transplant waitlist can vary by etiology. Our aim is to investigate differences in waitlist mortality of autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) using the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) database. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: Outcomes on the liver transplant waitlist can vary by etiology. Our aim is to investigate differences in waitlist mortality of autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) using the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) database. Methods: We identified patients who were listed for liver transplantation from 1987 to 2016 with a primary diagnosis of AIH, PBC, or PSC. We excluded patients with overlap syndromes, acute hepatic necrosis, missing data, and those who were children. The primary outcome was death or removal from the waitlist due to clinical deterioration. We compared waitlist survival using competing risk analysis. Results: Between 1987 and 2016, there were 7412 patients listed for liver transplant due to AIH, 8119 for PBC, and 10,901 for PSC. Patients with AIH were younger, more likely to be diabetic, and had higher listing model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) scores compared to PBC and PSC patients. Patients with PBC and AIH were more likely to be removed from the waitlist due to death or clinical deterioration. On competing risk analysis, AIH patients had a similar risk of being removed from the waitlist compared to those with PBC (subdistribution hazard ratio (SHR) 0.94, 95% CI 0.85–1.03) and higher risk of removal compared to those with PSC (SHR 0.8, 95% CI 0.72 to 0.89). Conclusion: Autoimmune hepatitis carries a similar risk of waitlist removal to PBC and a higher risk than PSC. The etiology of this disparity is not entirely clear and deserves further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver Transplantation)
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Open AccessArticle
Encouraging Split Liver Transplantation for Two Adult Recipients to Mitigate the High Incidence of Wait-List Mortality in the Setting of Extreme Shortage of Deceased Donors
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(12), 2095; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8122095 - 01 Dec 2019
Abstract
Background: Organ demand for liver transplantation (LT) is constantly increasing. Split liver transplantation (SPLT) is an ideal option for increasing the number of available liver grafts for transplantation and ameliorating organ shortage to a certain degree. However, SPLT for two adult recipients is [...] Read more.
Background: Organ demand for liver transplantation (LT) is constantly increasing. Split liver transplantation (SPLT) is an ideal option for increasing the number of available liver grafts for transplantation and ameliorating organ shortage to a certain degree. However, SPLT for two adult recipients is still not broadly applied. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the outcomes of SPLT for adult recipients at a single center. All donor, recipient, and transplantation factors were thoroughly investigated to clarify factors affecting patient outcomes after LT. Results: One hundred consecutive adult SPLTs were performed during the study period. Early mortality and 1-year mortality occurred in 21 and 31 recipients, respectively. On multivariate analysis, graft weight (p = 0.036, odds ratio = 0.99, 95% confidence interval = 0.98–0.99) was the independent risk factor associated with early mortality; however, no factor was significantly related to 1-year mortality. On receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, a graft weight of 580 g was identified the cutoff for stratifying outcomes. Recipients transplanted with a graft weighing ≥580 g had significantly better outcome as compared with other recipients (p = 0.001). Moreover, SPLT remarkably provided a better survival benefit for recipients than those on the LT wait-list (p < 0.0001). Conclusions: Given the considerable incidence of wait-list mortality, SPLT for two adult recipients should be encouraged whenever possible to increase the donor pool and benefit patients awaiting LT. Nonetheless, caution should be taken with a smaller graft weight owing to the risk of early graft loss. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver Transplantation)
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Open AccessArticle
Impedance Aggregometry Reveals Increased Platelet Aggregation during Liver Transplantation
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(11), 1803; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8111803 - 27 Oct 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
In patients presenting for liver transplantation, increased platelet aggregation as well as thrombocytopenia have been demonstrated, but bedside assays have not been investigated. We compared platelet aggregation in liver transplantation patients and control surgical patients using impedance aggregometry. We hypothesized that platelet activity [...] Read more.
In patients presenting for liver transplantation, increased platelet aggregation as well as thrombocytopenia have been demonstrated, but bedside assays have not been investigated. We compared platelet aggregation in liver transplantation patients and control surgical patients using impedance aggregometry. We hypothesized that platelet activity is not altered during liver transplantation. After the allowance of the ethics committee, platelet aggregation was determined using impedance aggregometry with the activators ristocetin, adenosine diphosphate (ADP), arachidonic acid, collagen, and thrombin receptor-activating peptide (TRAP) in liver transplantation patients at four time points (start of surgery, anhepatic phase, reperfusion, end of surgery) and in control surgical patients. Moreover, platelet count was determined using a Coulter counter. To compensate for the thrombocytopenia often present in patients presenting for liver transplantation, the ratio between impedance aggregometry finding and platelet count was used. For statistical evaluation, the t-test or the Mann–Whitney U-test were used, as appropriate. Platelet aggregation ratio showed a 3.1-fold increase in liver transplantation patients (n = 37) in comparison to control surgical patients (n = 10) when ristocetin was used as the activator (p = 0.001). Moreover, an approximately twofold increase of ADP-, arachidonic acid-, collagen-, and TRAP-induced platelet aggregation ratio was determined. Platelet aggregation normalized at the end of the transplantation procedure. Impedance aggregometry revealed a markedly increased platelet aggregation in some liver transplantation patients and might be suitable to guide platelet transfusion and antiplatelet therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver Transplantation)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Transfusion on the Risk of Acute Kidney Injury: ABO-Compatible versus ABO-Incompatible Liver Transplantation
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(11), 1785; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8111785 - 25 Oct 2019
Abstract
ABO-incompatible liver transplantation (ABO-i LT) is associated with a higher risk of acute kidney injury (AKI) compared to ABO-compatible liver transplantation (ABO-c LT). We compared the risk of AKI associated with transfusion between ABO-c and ABO-i living donor liver transplantation (LDLT). In 885 [...] Read more.
ABO-incompatible liver transplantation (ABO-i LT) is associated with a higher risk of acute kidney injury (AKI) compared to ABO-compatible liver transplantation (ABO-c LT). We compared the risk of AKI associated with transfusion between ABO-c and ABO-i living donor liver transplantation (LDLT). In 885 cases of LDLT, we used a propensity score analysis to match patients who underwent ABO-c (n = 766) and ABO-i (n = 119) LDLT. Baseline medical status, laboratory findings, and surgical- and anesthesia-related parameters were used as contributors for propensity score matching. AKI was defined according to the “Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes” criteria. After 1:2 propensity score matching, a conditional logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate the relationship between the intraoperative transfusion of packed red blood cells (pRBCs) and fresh frozen plasma (FFP) on the risk of AKI. The incidence of AKI was higher in ABO-i LT than in ABO-c LT before and after matching (after matching, 65.8% in ABO-i vs 39.7% in ABO-c, p < 0.001). The incidence of AKI increased in direct proportion to the amount of transfusion, and this increase was more pronounced in ABO-i LT. The risk of pRBC transfusion for AKI was greater in ABO-i LT (multivariable adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.32 per unit) than in ABO-c LT (OR 1.11 per unit). The risk of FFP transfusion was even greater in ABO-i LT (OR 1.44 per unit) than in ABO-c LT (OR 1.07 per unit). In conclusion, the association between transfusion and risk of AKI was stronger in patients with ABO-i LT than with ABO-c LT. Interventions to reduce perioperative transfusions may attenuate the risk of AKI in patients with ABO-i LT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver Transplantation)
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Open AccessArticle
Liver Grafts with Major Extended Donor Criteria May Expand the Organ Pool for Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(10), 1692; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8101692 - 15 Oct 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The major extended donor criteria (maEDC; steatosis >40%, age >65 years, and cold ischemia time >14 h) influence graft and patient outcomes after liver transplantation. Despite organ shortages, maEDC organs are often considered unsuitable for transplantation. We investigated the outcomes of maEDC organ [...] Read more.
The major extended donor criteria (maEDC; steatosis >40%, age >65 years, and cold ischemia time >14 h) influence graft and patient outcomes after liver transplantation. Despite organ shortages, maEDC organs are often considered unsuitable for transplantation. We investigated the outcomes of maEDC organ liver transplantation in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Two hundred and sixty-four HCC liver transplant patients were eligible for analysis. Risk factor analysis was performed for early allograft dysfunction; primary nonfunction; 30-day and 90-day graft failure; and 30-day, 90-day, and 1-year patient mortality. One-year graft survival was higher in recipients of no-maEDC grafts. One-year patient survival did not differ between the recipients of no-maEDC and maEDC organs. The univariate and multivariate analyses revealed no association between maEDC grafts and one-year patient mortality. Graft survival differed between the recipients of no-maEDC and maEDC organs after correcting for a laboratory model of end-stage liver disease (labMELD) score with a cut-off value of 20, but patient survival did not. Patient survival did not differ between recipients who did and did not meet the Milan criteria and who received grafts with and without maEDC. Instead of being discarded, maEDC grafts may expand the organ pool for patients with HCC without impairing patient survival or recurrence-free survival. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver Transplantation)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Body Composition on the Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Recurrence After Liver Transplantation
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(10), 1672; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8101672 - 13 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Background: Body composition parameters are reported to influence the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) recurrence after liver resection, yet data on patients undergoing liver transplantation are scarce. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the amount of abdominal adipose [...] Read more.
Background: Body composition parameters are reported to influence the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) recurrence after liver resection, yet data on patients undergoing liver transplantation are scarce. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the amount of abdominal adipose tissue and skeletal muscles on the risk of HCC recurrence after liver transplantation. Methods: This was a retrospective observational study performed on 77 HCC patients after liver transplantation. Subcutaneous fat area (SFA), visceral fat area, psoas muscle area and total skeletal muscle area were assessed on computed tomography on the level of L3 vertebra and divided by square meters of patient height. The primary outcome measure was five-year recurrence-free survival. Results: Recurrence-free survival in the entire cohort was 95.7%, 90.8%, and 86.5% after one, three, and five years post-transplantation, respectively. SFA was significantly associated with the risk of HCC recurrence (p = 0.013), whereas no significant effects were found for visceral fat and skeletal muscle indices. The optimal cut-off for SFA for prediction of recurrence was 71.5 cm2/m2. Patients with SFA < 71.5 cm2/m2 and ≥71.5 cm2/m2 exhibited five-year recurrence-free survival of 96.0% and 55.4%, respectively (p = 0.001). Conclusions: Excessive amount of subcutaneous adipose tissue is a risk factor for HCC recurrence after liver transplantation and may be considered in patient selection process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver Transplantation)
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Open AccessArticle
Right Heart Remodeling in Patients with End-Stage Alcoholic Liver Cirrhosis: Speckle Tracking Point of View
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(9), 1285; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8091285 - 22 Aug 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Background: Data regarding cardiac remodeling in patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis are scarce. We sought to investigate right atrial (RA) and right ventricular (RV) structure, function, and mechanics in patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis. Methods: This retrospective cross-sectional investigation included 67 end-stage cirrhotic [...] Read more.
Background: Data regarding cardiac remodeling in patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis are scarce. We sought to investigate right atrial (RA) and right ventricular (RV) structure, function, and mechanics in patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis. Methods: This retrospective cross-sectional investigation included 67 end-stage cirrhotic patients, who were referred for evaluation for liver transplantation and 36 healthy controls. All participants underwent echocardiographic examination including strain analysis, which was performed offline. Results: RV basal diameter and RV thickness were significantly higher in patients with cirrhosis. Conventional parameters of the RV systolic function were similar between the observed groups. Global, endocardial, and epicardial RV longitudinal strains were significantly lower in patients with cirrhosis. Active RA function was significantly higher in cirrhotic patients than in controls. The RA reservoir and conduit strains were significantly lower in cirrhotic patients, while there was no difference in the RA contractile strain. Early diastolic and systolic RA strain rates were significantly lower in cirrhotic patients than in controls, whereas there was no difference in the RA late diastolic strain rate between the two groups. Transaminases and bilirubin correlated negatively with RV global longitudinal strain and RV-free wall strain in patients with end-stage liver cirrhosis. The Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) score, predictor of 3-month mortality, correlated with parameters of RV structure and systolic function, and RA active function in patients with end-stage liver cirrhosis. Conclusions: RA and RV remodeling is present in patients with end-stage liver cirrhosis even though RV systolic function is preserved. Liver enzymes, bilirubin, and the MELD score correlated with RV and RA remodeling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver Transplantation)
Open AccessArticle
Prediction of Transplant-Free Survival through Albumin-Bilirubin Score in Primary Biliary Cholangitis
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(8), 1258; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8081258 - 19 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Albumin–bilirubin (ALBI) grade is defined using the ALBI score, which is calculated based on total serum bilirubin and albumin. This study aimed to evaluate the diagnostic ability of the ALBI score for determining hepatic fibrosis stage and transplant-free survival in primary biliary cholangitis [...] Read more.
Albumin–bilirubin (ALBI) grade is defined using the ALBI score, which is calculated based on total serum bilirubin and albumin. This study aimed to evaluate the diagnostic ability of the ALBI score for determining hepatic fibrosis stage and transplant-free survival in primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) patients. A total of 181 Japanese patients with biopsy-proven or serologically diagnosed PBC were enrolled. The pathological stage was assessed using the Scheuer classification. The ALBI score differentiated fibrosis in stage 4 from that of 3 in the biopsy-proven cohort (p < 0.05). With an ALBI score cut-off value of −1.679, the sensitivity and specificity were 100% and 91.1%, respectively, with a likelihood ratio of 12.3 to differentiate stage 4 from stages 1–3. The ALBI score at the beginning of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) prescription correlated with the two prognostic scores calculated after 1-year UDCA treatment. Kaplan–Meier analysis showed that the baseline ALBI score differentiated liver transplant-free survival (p < 0.05). The ALBI score presented a greater hazard ratio for transplant-free survival than aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI) in Cox proportional hazard model. In conclusion, ALBI score indicates pathological stage in Japanese PBC patients and scores before UDCA prescription predict better liver transplant-free survival, which correlated well with the two major prognostic scores. The prognosis-predicting ability of the ALBI score might surpass that of APRI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver Transplantation)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Cholangiocarcinoma as an Indication for Liver Transplantation in the Era of Transplant Oncology
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(5), 1353; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9051353 - 05 May 2020
Abstract
Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) arises from the biliary tract epithelium and accounts for 10–15% of all hepatobiliary malignancies. Depending on anatomic location, CCA is classified as intrahepatic (iCCA), perihilar (pCCA) and distal (dCCA). The best treatment option for pCCA is liver resection and when a [...] Read more.
Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) arises from the biliary tract epithelium and accounts for 10–15% of all hepatobiliary malignancies. Depending on anatomic location, CCA is classified as intrahepatic (iCCA), perihilar (pCCA) and distal (dCCA). The best treatment option for pCCA is liver resection and when a radical oncological surgery is obtained, 5-year survival rate are around 20–40%. In unresectable patients, following a specific protocol, liver transplantation (LT) for pCCA showed excellent long-term disease-free survival rates. Fewer data are available for iCCA in LT setting. Nevertheless, patients with very early unresectable iCCA appear to achieve excellent outcomes after LT. This review aims to evaluate existing evidence to define the current role of LT in the management of patients with CCA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver Transplantation)
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