BACKGROUND: In living-donor liver transplantation (LDLT) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), it is important to predict not only who may be susceptible to recurrence but also who may survive longer. The neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (NLR) is useful to properly assess the patient without decreasing the long-term survival after LDLT. In this study, we investigated the relationship between NLR and prognosis of patients with recurrent HCC after LDLT. METHODS: In total, 167 LDLTs for HCC were enrolled in this study. Clinicopathologic factors for HCC recurrence after LDLT were investigated and prognostic factors were examined with respect to survival. RESULTS: The following factors were found to be significant in patients with HCC recurrence compared with the controls: α-fetoprotein â‰§300 ng/mL, des-γ- carboxyprothrombin â‰§300 mAU/mL, NLR â‰§4, tumor number >3, tumor size â‰§5 cm, duration of last treatment of HCC to LDLT <3 months, Milan criteria exceeded, histologic tumor number â‰§10, histologic tumor size >5 cm, poor differentiation, presence of histologic vascular invasion, adjuvant chemotherapy, and interferon therapy against patients with hepatitis C virus. Male sex, interferon therapy against patients with hepatitis C virus, α-fetoprotein â‰§300 ng/mL at recurrence, NLR â‰§4 at recurrence, and nonsurgical resection for recurrent HCC were significantly related to poor prognosis. The 3-year survival rate after recurrence was 0% in patients with NLR â‰§4 and 43.6% in patients with NLR <4. NLR was reelevated after LDLT in patients who later died; however, NLR gradually decreased in surviving patients. CONCLUSION: NLR at recurrence is a prognostic factor affecting survival after recurrence in LDLT for HCC.
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