BioScience Trends. 2020;14(6):443-449. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2020.03336)

Risk factors for hepatitis B virus recurrence after living donor liver transplantation: A 22-year experience at a single center

Bae SK, Akamatsu N, Ichida A, Maki H, Nishioka Y, Kawahara T, Hoshikawa M, Nagata R, Mihara Y, Kawaguchi Y, Ishizawa T, Arita J, Kaneko J, Tamura S, Hasegawa K


The factors associated with hepatitis B virus (HBV) recurrence after living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) have not been fully clarified. The aim of this study was to determine the risk factors associated with HBV recurrence after LDLT. From January 1996 to December 2018, a total of 609 LDLT operations were performed at our center. A retrospective review was performed of 70 patients (male, n = 59; female, n = 11; median age = 54 years) who underwent LDLT for HBV-related liver disease. The virologic and biochemical data, tumor burden, antiviral and immunosuppressive therapy were evaluated and compared between the HBV recurrence and non-recurrence groups. Eleven of 70 patients (16%) developed post-LDLT HBV recurrence. The overall actuarial rates of HBV recurrence at 1, 3, 5, 10, and 20 years were 0%, 13%, 16.7%, 18.8%, and 18.8%, respectively. The median interval between LDLT and HBV recurrence was 57 months (range, 18-124 months). Based on the univariate and multivariate analyses, a serum HBV DNA level of ≥ 4 log copies/mL (hazard ratio [HR], 4.861; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.172-20.165; P = 0.029), and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) beyond the Milan criteria (HR, 10.083; 95% CI, 2.749-36.982; P < 0.001) were independent risk factors for HBV recurrence after LDLT. In LDLT patients, high pre-LT HBV DNA levels and HCC beyond the Milan criteria were risk factors for HBV recurrence. With the current expansion of the LT criteria for HCC, we should remain cautious regarding the risk of HBV recurrence, particularly in these groups.

KEYWORDS: living donor liver transplantation, HBV recurrence, HBV DNA, HCC, Milan criteria

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