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Similar survival but higher and delayed hepatocellular carcinoma recurrence in HIV-positive compared to negative cirrhotics undergoing liver transplantation

      Abstract

      Background

      Liver transplantation (LT) represents the best therapeutic option for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and end-stage liver disease (ESLD). Although HIV infection does not seem to lower survival rates, HCV and HCC recurrence appear more harmful.

      Aims

      To compare the overall survival after LT; evaluate the impact of anti-HCV direct-acting agents (DAA); assess the rate of HCC recurrence in HIV-positive and negative patients.

      Methods

      Subjects with HCV/HBV infection who underwent LT for HCC or ESLD from 2012 to 2019 were retrospectively evaluated.

      Results

      Study population included 299 individuals, 31 (10.4%) were HIV-positive. Overall mortality was similar (16.1% versus 19.0%, p = 0.695). HCC recurrence was observed in 6 HIV-positive (19.4%) and in 17 negative subjects (6.3%, p = 0.022). Time to relapse was 831 days in HIV-positive and 315 days in negative patients (p = 0.046). Cox model found a significant role for HIV in univariate analysis but, after adjusting for variables, extra-hepatic tumor was the only factor associated to recurrence (aHR 56.379, p < 0.001).

      Conclusions

      Post-LT survival improved after DAA availability and HIV has no impact on mortality. A higher and delayed rate of HCC recurrence was observed in co-infected individuals: surveillance protocols should be strengthened along time in this population.

      Keywords

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