Journal of Gastroenterology

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 249–256 | Cite as

Long-term experience with liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma

  • Georgios Tsoulfas
  • Tatsuo Kawai
  • Nahel Elias
  • S. C. Ko
  • Polyxeni Agorastou
  • A. Benedict Cosimi
  • Martin Hertl
Original Article—Liver, Pancreas, and Biliary Tract



The effect of the model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) system on the post-transplant survival of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has not been fully elucidated. Our objective is to review the results of liver transplantation (LT) for HCC at the Massachusetts General Hospital over a period of 12 years, with special emphasis on the effect of the MELD system.


A retrospective review of 73 patients who underwent liver transplantation for HCC between 1995 and 2007. Outcome measures included demographics, tumor stage at explant, patient survival, and tumor recurrence.


On pathologic review of the explanted liver, 12.3% of patients were classified as stage I; 42.5% as stage II, 21.9% as stage III, and 23.3% as stage IV. The overall actual survival rate was 85% at 1 year, 82% at 3 years, 73% at 5 years, and 66% at 10 years. Overall tumor recurrence was 11%. Survival rates were higher after the MELD system (5 year survival 60% before MELD vs. 85% after MELD). Recurrence decreased from 21% to 7.5%.


We showed improved survival for HCC after LT over the last 12 years, and especially improved survival and decreased recurrence in the time since the implementation of the MELD system.


Liver transplantation Hepatocellular carcinoma MELD system 



No financial support or other source of funding was received by any of the authors for this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Georgios Tsoulfas
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tatsuo Kawai
    • 1
  • Nahel Elias
    • 1
  • S. C. Ko
    • 1
  • Polyxeni Agorastou
    • 1
  • A. Benedict Cosimi
    • 1
  • Martin Hertl
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Transplantation Unit, Massachusetts General HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.ThessaloníkiGreece

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