Background/aims: Patients with hepatocellular carcinoma on the waiting list for liver transplantation are excluded due to causes related to liver failure and tumor progression. We analyze the various factors to suggest a new liver transplant priority.
Methodology: We evaluated the outcome on the list of 309 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and causes of drop-out from the list were divided as death, "too sick" and tumor progression. The impact of model for end stage liver disease score, tumor stage and waiting time on the causes of drop-outs was evaluated.
Results: During the study period, 197 patients had a liver transplantation, 50 were still on the list and the remaining 62 were removed from the list (28 deaths, 30 tumor progressions, and 4 "too sick"). The receiver operating characteristic curves analysis showed that the model for end stage liver disease score predicted the rate of deaths on the list at 1-year (p<0.001). The waiting time and the tumor stage predicted the rate of drop-outs for tumor progression at 1-year on the list (p<0.05).
Conclusions: Patients with hepatocellular carcinoma on the waiting list should have priority based on their model for end stage liver disease score, waiting time with tumor and tumor stage.