Author(s): Vanlemmens C, Di Martino V, Milan C, Messner M, Minello A,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Liver transplantation improves survival of patients with end-stage (Child-Pugh stage C) alcoholic cirrhosis, but its benefit for patients with stage B disease is uncertain. OBJECTIVE: To compare the outcomes of patients with Child-Pugh stage B alcoholic cirrhosis who are immediately listed for liver transplantation with those of patients assigned to standard treatment with delay of transplantation until progression to stage C disease. DESIGN: Randomized, controlled trial. SETTING: 13 liver transplantation programs in France. PATIENTS: 120 patients with Child-Pugh stage B alcoholic cirrhosis and no viral hepatitis, cancer, or contraindication to transplantation. INTERVENTIONS: Patients were randomly assigned to immediate listing for liver transplantation (60 patients) or standard care (60 patients). MEASUREMENTS: Overall and cancer-free survival over 5 years. RESULTS: Sixty-eight percent of patients assigned to immediate listing for liver transplantation and 25\% of those assigned to standard care received a liver transplant. All-cause death and cirrhosis-related death did not statistically differ between the 2 groups: 5-year survival was 58\% (95\% CI, 43\% to 70\%) for those assigned to immediate listing versus 69\% (CI, 54\% to 80\%) for those assigned to standard care. In multivariate analysis, independent predictors of long-term survival were absence of ongoing alcohol consumption (hazard ratio, 7.604 [CI, 2.395 to 24.154]), recovery from Child-Pugh stage C (hazard ratio, 7.633 [CI, 2.392 to 24.390]), and baseline Child-Pugh score less than 8 (hazard ratio, 2.664 [CI, 1.052 to 6.746]). Immediate listing for transplantation was associated with an increased risk for extrahepatic cancer: The 5-year cancer-free survival rate was 63\% (CI, 43\% to 77\%) for patients who were immediately listed and 94\% (CI, 81\% to 98\%) for those who received standard care. LIMITATION: Restriction of the study sample to alcoholic patients may limit the generalizability of results to other settings. CONCLUSION: Immediate listing for liver transplantation did not show a survival benefit compared with standard care for Child-Pugh stage B alcoholic cirrhosis. In addition, immediate listing for transplantation increased the risk for extrahepatic cancer. FUNDING: The French National Program for Clinical Research. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00701792.
This article was published in Ann Intern Med
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals