Role of locoregional therapy and predictors for dropout in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma listed for liver transplantation

Rahul A. Sheth, Madhukar S. Patel, Brian Koottappillil, Jigesh A. Shah, Rahmi Oklu, Peter Mueller, Parsia A. Vagefi, Suvranu Ganguli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Purpose To identify factors associated with removal from the liver transplantation waitlist because of death, deterioration of condition, or exceeding Milan criteria in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), with emphasis on the role of locoregional therapy (LRT), defined as percutaneous thermal ablation and drug-eluting embolic chemoembolization, as bridge therapy. Materials and Methods All patients listed for liver transplant at a single institution with exception points for HCC during 2004-2012 were evaluated. The most common cause of cirrhosis was hepatitis C (68%; 121/177). Seventy-one percent (125/177) of patients underwent liver transplantation, and 83% (147/177) underwent at least 1 LRT procedure. Of the 52 patients who did not undergo liver transplantation, 31 (60%) of livers were removed because of progression of HCC. Results The likelihood of transplant was higher for patients who received LRT (odds ratio [OR], 2.9; confidence interval [CI], 2.2-7.2) and lower for patients with multifocal tumors (OR, 0.25; CI, 0.12-0.52) and with larger tumors (OR, 0.94; CI, 0.90-0.98). Time on the waitlist (OR, 0.99; CI, 0.99-1.0) was not found to correlate with removal. LRT increased the likelihood of liver transplantation, specifically for patients with prolonged wait times. Patients who demonstrated complete response (CR) to LRT on the first follow-up imaging study were more likely to undergo liver transplantation. Conclusions LRT increased the likelihood of a patient with HCC achieving liver transplant, particularly in patients facing prolonged waiting times. CR after LRT significantly increased the likelihood of liver transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1761-1768
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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