Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery

, Volume 16, Issue 11, pp 2120–2125

Comparison Between Living Donor Liver Transplantation Recipients Who Met the Milan and UCSF Criteria After Successful Downstaging Therapies

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11605-012-2019-y

Cite this article as:
Lei, J. & Yan, L. J Gastrointest Surg (2012) 16: 2120. doi:10.1007/s11605-012-2019-y


Background and Aims

Various downstaging therapies were introduced to liver recipients who could not meet the relative criteria for liver transplantation, and many endpoints were reported. The most common criteria used were the Milan criteria and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) criteria. However, no comparison was made between them, and we attempted to find possible differences between the living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) patients who met the Milan criteria and those who met the UCSF criteria after accepting preoperative downstaging therapies.

Materials and Methods

We performed a retrospective study of all 72 patients at our center from January 2003 to March 2009 who were diagnosed with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma but accepted various downstaging therapies. Some patients met the Milan criteria (group 1), and some met the UCSF criteria (group 2) but not the Milan criteria. We collected the data from the two groups and then compared the preoperative demographic data, downstaging therapies, intraoperative data from LDLT, and the recovery and complications after LDLT. Survival rates were compared using Kaplan–Meier analysis.


Only 44 patients (61.1 %) met the criteria for liver transplantation, 21 cases met the Milan criteria (group 1), and 23 cases met the UCSF criteria (group 2) but not the Milan criteria. All of the 44 patients accepted right lobe living liver donor liver transplantation in our center. The difference in the baseline characteristics between the two groups did not reach statistical significance. The mean number of downstaging treatments per patient was 1.81 ± 0.35 in group 1 and 1.83 ± 0.41 in group 2 (P = 0.928). Most of the patients received only one downstaging treatment, and transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) was the most common downstaging therapy. Four patients suffered complications after downstaging therapies: intra-abdominal hemorrhage after right hepatectomy, upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage after TACE, biliary fistula after resection, and hand–foot syndrome after taking sorafenib. All complications after LDLT, classified according to the Clavien–Dindo system, were compared within the two groups, and the calculated score of the complications in group 1 was 1.48 ± 1.63, which was greater than that of group 2 (1.39 ± 1.64), but this difference did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.865). The 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates were 90.4, 76.2, and 71.4 % in group 1 and 91.3, 73.9, and 69.6 % in group 2, respectively (P > 0.05). Seven patients (three in group 1 and four in group 2) had tumor recurrence after a median follow-up period of 72 months. The pathology findings were not different between the two groups.


Recipients who meet the Milan or UCSF criteria after accepting successful preoperative downstaging therapy in LDLT can achieve the same result.


Donor Liver Transplantation Downstaging 



University of California, San Francisco


Hepatocellular carcinoma


Living donor liver transplantation


Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization


Liver transplantation


Radiofrequency ablation


Ethanol injection


United Network for Organ Sharing




Body mass index


Intensive care unit


Graft-to-recipient weight ratio


Orthotopic liver transplantation

Copyright information

© The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Liver Transplantation CenterWest China Hospital of Sichuan UniversityChengduChina

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