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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 2329-0358

Surgical Outcome of Pulmonary Metastasectomy for Hepatocellular Carcinoma Recurrence in Liver Transplant Patients

Yong Ho Jeong, Shin Hwang, Geun Dong Lee, Se Hoon Choi, Hyeong Ryul Kim, Yong-Hee Kim, Seung-Il Park, Dong Kwan Kim

Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea

Ann Transplant 2021; 26:e930383

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.930383

Available online: 2021-04-08

Published: 2021-05-11


BACKGROUND: Recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after liver transplantation (LT) results in poor survival outcome. This study assessed the clinical outcomes of pulmonary metastasectomy in LT recipients with pulmonary metastasis of HCC in a high-volume transplant center and analyzed factors prognostic of survival following metastasectomy.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: This study analyzed outcomes in 52 patients who underwent pulmonary resection due to pulmonary metastasis as the first recurrence of HCC after LT from January 2004 to December 2017 in a single center.
RESULTS: The 52 enrolled patients included 46 men and 6 women, aged 56.0±6.6 years. Their 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates after pulmonary resection were 75.0%, 43.5%, and 33.9%, respectively. The 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates were 85.3%, 47.1%, and 34.2%, respectively, in patients with further metastases and 55.6%, 38.1%, and 38.1%, respectively, in patients without further metastases (P=0.45). The size and number of pulmonary metastatic nodules were unrelated to survival rates (all P>0.10). A shorter recurrence-free period after LT (hazard ratio [HR]=0.553, P=0.006), elevated alpha-fetoprotein concentration at metastasectomy (HR=2.142, P=0.03), and adjuvant chemotherapy after metastasectomy (HR=3.79, P=0.003) were independent risk factors for survival after metastasectomy.
CONCLUSIONS: Pulmonary metastasectomy for HCC recurrence in LT recipients showed favorable survival outcomes. Independent risk factors for survival after metastasectomy included recurrence-free survival after LT, alpha-fetoprotein level at metastasectomy, and adjuvant chemotherapy after metastasectomy.

Keywords: Carcinoma, Hepatocellular, Liver Transplantation, metastasectomy, Lung Neoplasms