Combining F-18-FDG positron emission tomography with Up-to-seven criteria for selecting suitable liver transplant patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma

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Kornberg A., Witt U., Schernhammer M., Kornberg J., Ceyhan G., Mueller K., ...More

SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, vol.7, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 7
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1038/s41598-017-14430-9
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Acibadem Mehmet Ali Aydinlar University Affiliated: No


The Up-to-seven (UTS) criteria (sum of tumor size and number not exceeding 7) for indicating liver transplantation (LT) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) were originally based on explant pathology features and absence of microvascular invasion (MVI). F-18-fludeoxyglucose (F-18-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) was shown to indicate the risk of MVI and tumor recurrence. The aim of this study was to analyze the prognostic significance of the clinical UTS criteria when being combined with PET-status of the tumor. Data of 116 liver transplant patients were subject to retrospective analysis. Five-year recurrence-free survival (RFS) rates in patients meeting (n = 85) and exceeding (n = 21) the radiographic UTS criteria were 81% and 55.1%, respectively (p = 0.014). In the UTS In subset, RFS was significantly better in PET-negative (94.9%) than in PET-positive patients (48.3%; p < 0.001). In the UTS Out subset, 5-year RFS rates were 87.1% and 19% in patients with non-F-18-FDG-avid and F-18-FDG-avid tumors (p < 0.001), respectively. Positive PET-status was identified as the only independent clinical predictor of tumor recurrence in beyond UTS patients (Hazard ratio [HR] 19.25; p < 0.001). Combining radiographic UTS criteria with FDG-PET may safely expand the HCC selection criteria for LT.