Human T cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is an endemic retrovirus in southwestern Japan, which causes adult T cell leukemia (ATL) or HTLV-1 associated myelopathy in a minority of carriers. Here, we investigated the impact of HTLV-1 status in living donor liver transplantation (LDLT). Twenty-six of 329 (7.9%) HTLV-1 carriers underwent primary LDLT. One recipient negative for HTLV-1 before LDLT received a graft from an HTLV-1 positive donor. Eight donors were HTLV-1 positive. Twenty-seven recipients (13 male and 14 female; mean age 52.5 years) were reviewed retrospectively. ATL developed in four recipients who ultimately died. The intervals between LDLT and ATL development ranged from 181 to 1315 days. Of the four ATL recipients, two received grafts from HTLV-1 positive donors and two from negative donors. The 1-, 3- and 5-year HTLV-1 carrier survival rates were 91.3%, 78.3% and 66.3%, respectively. Fulminant hepatic failure as a pretransplant diagnosis and a pretransplant MELD score ≥ 15 was identified as risk factors for ATL development in this study (p = 0.001 and p = 0.041, respectively). In conclusion, LDLT can be performed for HTLV-1 positive recipients. However, when fulminant hepatic failure is diagnosed, LDLT should not be performed until further studies have revealed the mechanisms of ATL development. The authors investigate the impact of human T cell leukemia virus type 1 in living donor liver transplantation and find that fulminant hepatic failure as a pretransplant diagnosis and a pretransplant MELD score > 15 are risk factors for T cell leukemia development See editorial by Kaul on page 1365.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pharmacology (medical)