Su Yin Lau, Richard J. Woodman, Mauricio F. Silva, Kate Muller, John Libby, John W. Chen, Robert Padbury, Alan J. Wigg
Background and aims. Concerns exist about outcomes of liver transplantation (LT) from low volume centres, especially for hepatitis C (HCV) patients. The aim of the study was to assess patient outcomes as well as their predictors post LT for HCV in a small volume Australian unit (< 25 LTs/year), comparing these with the average outcomes obtained from national and international transplant registries. Patients transplanted for HCV at the South Australian Liver Transplant Unit between 1992 and 2012 were studied. Outcomes assessed were patient and graft survival at 1,3, and 5 years. Factors independently associated with the outcomes were assessed using Cox regression model. Results. 1, 3, and 5-year patient survival for HCV patients was 95.2, 82.9, and 78.2%, graft survival were 93.7, 80.1, and 75.5% respectively. The total follow-up time observed was 299.9 years amongst 61 patients in which there were 16 deaths. The expected number of deaths was 40.4 and the standardized mortality ratio 0.40 (95% CI = 0.24, 0.65). These results compared favourably to those obtained from the SRTR registry. Variables independently associated with lower patient survival: donor age (HR = 1.06, 95% CI 1.02 - 1.11; P = 0.003), and post LT cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease requiring treatment (HR = 4.03, 95% CI 1.48 - 10.92;P = 0.06). Conclusion. In conclusion, high rates of patient and graft survival for HCV liver transplantation can be obtained in a small volume unit. Young donor age and lack of CMV disease post-transplant were associated with better outcomes. Institutional factors may be influential determinants of outcomes.
Key words. Hepatitis C, Low volume center, Outcomes, Survival