Serological Risk Index Based on Alpha-Fetoprotein and C-Reactive Protein to Indicate Futile Liver Transplantation Among Patients with Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma
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The aim of this study was to establish a preoperatively available serological risk index using alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and C-reactive protein (CRP) for predicting oncologically futile liver transplantation (LT) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients.
A total of 119 liver transplant patients with HCC were retrospectively analyzed. The prognostic impact of clinical and histopathologic factors including pre-LT serum AFP and CRP values was determined.
Apart from microvascular tumor invasion (MVI; odds ratio [OR] 15.77), pretransplant serum levels of AFP > 100 ng/ml (OR 13.31) and CRP > 0.8 mg/dl (OR 13.97) were identified as independent predictors of HCC recurrence. The cumulative risk of HCC relapse at 5 years post-LT was 2.3% in low serological tumor activity (STA) index (AFP ≤ 100 ng/ml + CRP ≤ 0.8 mg/dl), 17.1% in intermediate STA (AFP ≤ 100 ng/ml or CRP ≤ 0.8 mg/dl), and 91.6% in high STA index (AFP > 100 ng/ml + CRP > 0.8 mg/dl; p < 0.001), respectively. High STA index was identified as most powerful pre-LT available predictor of MVI (OR 15.31) and posttransplant HCC recurrence (OR 54.44). Five-year recurrence-free survival rate in Milan Out patients with high STA was 0%, compared to 91.7% and 83.6% in those with low or intermediate STA index (p < 0.001), respectively.
Our proposed serological risk index based on pretransplant serum AFP and CRP values is able to predict oncologically futile LT among advanced HCC patients.
KeywordsAlpha-fetoprotein C-reactive protein Hepatocellular carcinoma Liver transplantation Tumor recurrence Milan criteria
Area under the curve
Model of end-stage liver disease
Magnetic resonance imaging
Serological tumor activity
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest related to the article.
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