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HIV Does Not Impact Survival After Liver Transplant

More HIV-positive patients drop out waiting for liver transplants than those without HIV

THURSDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- HIV status does not impair the likelihood of survival after liver transplant for liver cancer, according to a study published in the February issue of Hepatology.

Eric Vibert, M.D., of the Hôpital Paul Brousse in Villejuif, France, and colleagues analyzed data from 21 HIV-infected and 65 HIV-negative patients with hepatocellular carcinoma who were awaiting liver transplant between 2003 and 2008. The impact of HIV infection on overall survival and recurrence-free survival after transplant was assessed.

The researchers found a higher drop-out rate among HIV-positive versus HIV-negative wait-listed patients (23 versus 10 percent; P = 0.08). HIV-positive patients had significantly higher average alpha-fetoprotein levels at the time of listing than did those who underwent transplant (16 µg/L versus 13 µg/L; P = 0.04). Among patients who underwent transplant, HIV status did not emerge as a prognostic factor for overall survival or recurrence-free survival.

"If HIV-positive patients are selected for liver transplant on the basis of strict criteria and are kept under close surveillance until surgery, there are currently no objective arguments to contradict liver transplant in this young patient population," the authors write.

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