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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 2329-0358

Clinicopathological Features and Prognosis of Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma After Liver Transplantation and Resection

Dong-Hwan Jung, Shin Hwang, Gi-Won Song, Chul-Soo Ahn, Deok-Bog Moon, Ki-Hun Kim, Tae-Yong Ha, Gil-Chun Park, Seung-Mo Hong, Wan-Jun Kim, Woo-Hyoung Kang, Seok-Hwan Kim, Eun Sil Yu, Sung-Gyu Lee

Division of Hepatobiliary Surgery and Liver Transplantation, Department of Surgery, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea

Ann Transplant 2017; 22:42-52

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.901504

Available online: 2017-01-26

Published: 2017-01-26


BACKGROUND: Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) can be incidentally diagnosed after liver transplantation (LT). We investigated the clinicopathological features of LT recipients with ICC and compared prognosis with that of the control group.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We identified 16 recipients with ICC in our institutional database. The propensity score-matched control group comprised 100 ICC patients who underwent hepatic resection (HR).
RESULTS: ICC incidence was 0.5% in all adult LT patients and 1.2% in adult recipients with primary liver cancer. Mean age was 58.0±4.8 years and 15 were male. All ICCs were diagnosed incidentally in the explanted livers. Mean ICC tumor diameter was 2.5±1.1 cm and 14 recipients had a single tumor. Tumor stages were I in 9, II in 5, and IV in 2. Concurrent second primary liver cancer was detected as hepatocellular carcinoma in 7 and combined hepatocellular carcinoma-cholangiocarcinoma in 1. Tumor recurrence and patient survival rates were 56.2% and 81.3% at 1 year and 78.1% and 52.4% at 5 years, respectively. Presence of second cancer did not affect tumor recurrence (p=0.959) or patient survival (p=0.737). All 3 patients with very early ICC did not show ICC recurrence. Compared with the control group, the tumor recurrence rate was higher after LT (p=0.024), but this difference disappeared after analysis was confined to recipients with ICC alone (p=0.121). Post-recurrence survival was not different after HR and LT (p=0.082).
CONCLUSIONS: ICC is rarely diagnosed after LT and half of such patients have second liver cancer. Post-transplant prognosis of ICC is poor except for very early ICC; thus, strict surveillance is mandatory.

Keywords: Abdominal Neoplasms, Hepatectomy, Living Donors