Liver Transplant for Nonhepatocellular Malignancies: A Review for Radiologists
Sean H Kim, Benjamin Navot, Preethi Guniganti, Alexander Gavlin, Elizabeth M Hecht, Andrea S Kierans
AJR Am J Roentgenol . 2022 Jul 13;1-14. doi: 10.2214/AJR.22.27783. Online ahead of print.
Although liver transplant is traditionally only performed for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the last decade has seen a resurgence in its use for non-HCC malignancies, likely due to improvements in neoadjuvant treatment regimens and the establishment of well-defined eligibility criteria. Given promising survival results, patients with perihilar cholangiocarcinoma, neuroendocrine liver metastases, and hepatic hemangioendothelioma are eligible to receive Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) exception points for tumors that meet well-defined criteria. Patients with additional tumors such as colorectal cancer liver metastases, intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, and hepatocellular cholangiocarcinoma may undergo transplant at specialized centers with well-defined protocols, although these patients are not yet eligible for MELD exception. Transplant eligibility criteria commonly incorporate imaging findings; however, because of the relatively novel and evolving nature of liver transplant for non-HCC malignancies, radiologists may be unaware of relevant criteria or the implications of their imaging interpretations. Knowledge of the allocation process, previous studies, and liver transplant selection criteria facilitates radiologists' active participation in multidisciplinary discussion, leading to better and more equitable care for transplant candidates with non-HCC malignancy. This review provides an overview of transplant allocation and selection criteria in patients with non-HCC malignancy, with an emphasis on imaging features and the role of the radiologist.
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