1King Faisal Specialist & Research Center, Riyadh 12713, Saudi Arabia.
2Salmaniya Medical Complex, Manama 323, Bahrain.
3Faculty of Medicine, Arabian Gulf University, Manama 329, Bahrain.
4University College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kakatiya University, Warangal 506009, India.
5Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.
Background: liver transplantation (LT) is the best curative option for eligible patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), however recurrence remains a major concern. This meta-analysis aimed to investigate the prevalence and risk factors of HCC recurrence.
Methods: studies were selected using PubMed, Epistemonikas, and Google Scholar databases published from inception to 15 May 2022 and a meta-analysis of the proportions was conducted. Observational studies reporting the prevalence of recurrent HCC after an LT were included, with the analysis being stratified by an adherence to the Milan criteria (MC), geographical region, AFP levels, and donor type.
Results: out of 4081 articles, 125 were included in the study. The prevalence of recurrent HCC was 17% (CI: 15-19). Patients beyond the MC were more likely to recur than patients within the MC. Asian populations had the greatest prevalence of HCC recurrence (21%; CI: 18-24), whereas North American populations had the lowest recurrence (10%; CI: 7-12). The mortality rate after HCC recurrence was 9%; CI: 8-11. North American populations had the greatest prevalence of mortality with 11% (CI: 5-17).
Conclusions: the recurrence, overall survival, and mortality rates among patients with HCC post-LT remains high, with substantial differences between regions.