Surgery (Austin & Northern Health) - Research Publications

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    Expansion of Liver Transplantation Criteria for Hepatocellular Carcinoma from Milan to UCSF in Australia and New Zealand and Justification for Metroticket 2.0.
    Barreto, SG ; Strasser, SI ; McCaughan, GW ; Fink, MA ; Jones, R ; McCall, J ; Munn, S ; Macdonald, GA ; Hodgkinson, P ; Jeffrey, GP ; Jaques, B ; Crawford, M ; Brooke-Smith, ME ; Chen, JW (MDPI AG, 2022-06-03)
    BACKGROUND: Expansion in liver transplantation (LT) criteria for HCC from Milan to UCSF has not adversely impacted overall survival, prompting further expansion towards Metroticket 2.0 (MT2). In this study, we compared patient survival post-transplant before and after 2007 and long-term outcomes for LT within Milan versus UCSF criteria (to determine the true benefit of the expansion of criteria) and retrospectively validated the MT2 criteria. METHODS: Retrospective analysis of ANZLITR (including all patients transplanted for HCC since July 1997). The entire cohort was divided based on criteria used at the time of listing, namely, Milan era (1997-2006) and the UCSF&nbsp;era (2007-July 2015). RESULTS: The overall 5- and 10-year cumulative survival rates for the entire cohort of 691 patients were 78% and 69%, respectively. Patients transplanted in UCSF era had significantly higher 5- and 10-year survival rates than in the Milan era (80% vs. 73% and 72% vs. 65%, respectively; p = 0.016). In the UCSF era, the 5-year survival rate for patients transplanted within Milan criteria was significantly better than those transplanted outside Milan but within UCSF criteria (83% vs. 73%; p < 0.024). Patients transplanted within the MT2 criteria had a significantly better 5- and 10-year survival rate as compared to those outside the criteria (81% vs. 64% and 73% vs. 50%, respectively; p = 0.001). CONCLUSION: Overall survival following LT for HCC has significantly improved over time despite expanding criteria from Milan to UCSF. Patients fulfilling the MT2 criteria have a survival comparable to the UCSF cohort. Thus, expansion of criteria to MT2 is justifiable.
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    Predicting recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma after liver transplantation using a novel model that incorporates tumor and donor-related factors.
    Orci, LA ; Combescure, C ; Fink, M ; Oldani, G ; Compagnon, P ; Andres, A ; Berney, T ; Toso, C (Frontiers Media SA, 2021-12)
    Evidence suggests that liver graft quality impacts on posttransplant recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). As of today, selection criteria only use variables related to tumor characteristics. Within the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients, we identified patients with HCC who underwent liver transplantation between 2004 and 2016 (development cohort, n = 10 887). Based on tumor recurrence rates, we fitted a competing-risk regression incorporating tumor- and donor-related factors, and we developed a prognostic score. Results were validated both internally and externally in the Australia and New Zealand Liver Transplant Registry. Total tumor diameter (subhazard ratio [sub-HR] 1.52 [1.28-1.81]), alpha-feto protein (sub-HR 1.27 [1.23-1.32], recipient male gender (sub-HR 1.43 [1.18-1.74]), elevated donor body mass index (sub-HR 1.26 [1.01-1.58]), and shared graft allocation policy (sub-HR 1.20 [1.01-1.43]) were independently associated with tumor recurrence. We next developed the Darlica score (sub-HR 2.72 [2.41-3.08] P < 0.001) that allows identifying risky combinations between a given donor and a given recipient. Results were validated internally (n = 3 629) and externally in the Australia and New Zealand Liver Transplant Registry (n = 370). The current score is based on variables that are readily available at the time of graft offer. It allows identifying hazardous donor-recipient combinations in terms of risk of tumor recurrence and overall survival.
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    The Impact of Intraoperative Donor Blood on Packed Red Blood Cell Transfusion During Deceased Donor Liver Transplantation: A Retrospective Cohort Study.
    Shaylor, R ; Desmond, F ; Lee, D-K ; Koshy, AN ; Hui, V ; Tang, GT ; Fink, M ; Weinberg, L (Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health), 2021-07-01)
    BACKGROUND: Blood from deceased organ donors, also known as donor blood (DB), has the potential to reduce the need for packed red blood cells (PRBCs) during liver transplantation (LT). We hypothesized that DB removed during organ procurement is a viable resource that could reduce the need for PRBCs during LT. METHODS: We retrospectively examined data on LT recipients aged over 18 y who underwent a deceased donor LT. The primary aim was to compare the incidence of PRBC transfusion in LT patients who received intraoperative DB (the DB group) to those who did not (the nondonor blood [NDB] group). RESULTS: After a propensity score matching process, 175 patients received DB and 175 did not. The median (first-third quartile) volume of DB transfused was 690.0 mL (500.0-900.0), equivalent to a median of 3.1 units (2.3-4.1). More patients in the NDB group received an intraoperative PRBC transfusion than in the DB group: 74.3% (95% confidence intervals, 67.8-80.8) compared with 60% (95% confidence intervals, 52.7-67.3); P = 0.004. The median number of PRBCs transfused intraoperatively was higher in the NDB group compared with the DB group: 3 units (0-6) compared with 2 units (0-4); P = 0.004. There were no significant differences observed in the secondary outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Use of DB removed during organ procurement and reinfused to the recipient is a viable resource for reducing the requirements for PRBCs during LT. Use of DB minimizes the exposure of the recipient to multiple donor sources.
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    Clinical outcomes of patients with two small hepatocellular carcinomas
    Anh, DP ; Vaz, K ; Ardalan, ZS ; Sinclair, M ; Apostolov, R ; Gardner, S ; Majeed, A ; Mishra, G ; Kam, NM ; Patwala, K ; Kutaiba, N ; Arachchi, N ; Bell, S ; Dev, AT ; Lubel, JS ; Nicoll, AJ ; Sood, S ; Kemp, W ; Roberts, SK ; Fink, M ; Testro, AG ; Angus, PW ; Gow, PJ (BAISHIDENG PUBLISHING GROUP INC, 2021-10-27)
    BACKGROUND: Management of single small hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is straightforward with curative outcomes achieved by locoregional therapy or resection. Liver transplantation is often considered for multiple small or single large HCC. Management of two small HCC whether presenting synchronously or sequentially is less clear. AIM: To define the outcomes of patients presenting with two small HCC. METHODS: Retrospective review of HCC databases from multiple institutions of patients with either two synchronous or sequential HCC ≤ 3 cm between January 2000 and March 2018. Primary outcomes were overall survival (OS) and transplant-free survival (TFS). RESULTS: 104 patients were identified (male n = 89). Median age was 63 years (interquartile range 58-67.75) and the most common aetiology of liver disease was hepatitis C (40.4%). 59 (56.7%) had synchronous HCC and 45 (43.3%) had sequential. 36 patients died (34.6%) and 25 were transplanted (24.0%). 1, 3 and 5-year OS was 93.0%, 66.1% and 62.3% and 5-year post-transplant survival was 95.8%. 1, 3 and 5-year TFS was 82.1%, 45.85% and 37.8%. When synchronous and sequential groups were compared, OS (1,3 and 5 year synchronous 91.3%, 63.8%, 61.1%, sequential 95.3%, 69.5%, 64.6%, P = 0.41) was similar but TFS was higher in the sequential group (1,3 and 5 year synchronous 68.5%, 37.3% and 29.7%, sequential 93.2%, 56.6%, 48.5%, P = 0.02) though this difference did not remain during multivariate analysis. CONCLUSION: TFS in patients presenting with two HCC ≤ 3 cm is poor regardless of the timing of the second tumor. All patients presenting with two small HCC should be considered for transplantation.
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    Turning the Tide on Hepatitis C Virus-Related Liver Transplantation: The Return on Investment in Hepatitis C Virus Treatment in Australia and New Zealand
    Howell, J ; Majumdar, A ; Fink, MA ; Byrne, M ; McCaughan, G ; Strasser, S ; Crawford, M ; Hodgkinson, P ; Stuart, KA ; Tallis, C ; Chen, J ; Wigg, A ; Jones, R ; Jaques, B ; Jeffrey, G ; Adams, L ; Wallace, MC ; Munn, S ; Gane, E ; Thompson, AJ ; Gow, P (WILEY, 2021-11-10)
    Introduction of universal access to direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy for hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Australia and New Zealand on March 1st , 2016, has had a major impact on the number of people with chronic HCV infection, but the impact on liver transplantation rates is unknown. We conducted a retrospective registry study including all adult liver transplantations from the Australia and New Zealand Liver and Intestinal Liver Transplant Registry (ANZLITR) data set. Interrupted time series analysis determined the impact of DAAs in 2016 on the number of HCV liver transplantations per year. Cox regression analysis was used to determine the impact of DAAs on post-liver transplantation survival. Between January 1, 1990, and December 31, 2019 5318 adult liver transplantations were performed, and 29% (1531) were for HCV infection. Prior to the introduction of DAAs, there was a mean increase of 3.5 adult liver transplantations performed for HCV per annum, but between 2016 and 2019 there was a mean decrease of 7.9 adult liver transplantations per annum (P < 0.001). Similarly, the proportion of liver transplantations performed for HCV increased from 9% (1990) to 33% in 2016 and then fell to 23% in 2019 (P < 0.001). The number and proportion of patients with HCV added to the liver transplantation waiting list also fell in 2016 (P < 0.001) when compared with other indications. The introduction of DAAs was associated with a 31% reduction in death after liver transplantation, adjusted for age at transplant and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC; hazard ratio [HR], 0.69; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.48-0.99; P = 0.047). The number of adult liver transplantations performed for HCV-related liver cirrhosis and HCC has reduced since the introduction of universal access to DAAs in 2016 in Australia and New Zealand.
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    Procurement-related liver injury for transplantation: an analysis of the risk factors and consequences in an Australian transplant centre
    Walcott, J ; Fink, M ; Ealing, I ; Christophi, C ; Muralidharan, V (WILEY, 2021-11-01)
    BACKGROUND: Liver transplantation is an established treatment for liver failure, and its success relies on the quality of the donated organ amongst other factors. Studies on procurement-related liver injury (PRLI) are few and some may not apply to modern-day practice. This is the first Australian study examining risk factors and consequences of PRLI. METHOD: The Victorian Liver Transplant Unit database was examined for deceased liver donors from 2010 to 2017. Information regarding the donor, retrieval and subsequent transplantation was obtained. PRLI details were sought from the 'organ retrieval report form'. PRLI risk factors and their complications were analysed. RESULTS: A total of 420 transplants were included, with 45 injuries in 44 livers (10%), and significant injuries were observed in 4%. Variant anatomy was associated with an increased risk of PRLI (11% vs. 2%, p < 0.001). Complication rates were not significantly different between livers with and without PRLI however a reduction in early graft survival was observed. CONCLUSION: This study shows that PRLI is common, and that variant anatomy is associated with an increased risk of injury. Appropriate feedback and benchmarking are important to maintain a high quality in donor surgery.
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    The use of organ donor blood in liver transplantation
    Tang, GT ; Shaylor, R ; Hui, V ; Przybylowski, G ; Jones, RM ; Starkey, G ; Perini, MV ; Wang, B-Z ; Zantomio, D ; Hogan, C ; Fink, MA (WILEY, 2021-09-16)
    BACKGROUND: Blood removed from organs during deceased donor organ procurement is routinely discarded but is a potential resource for donor-specific transfusion (DST) in subsequent liver transplantation (LT). This study retrospectively analyses the impact of DST on intraoperative bank blood product usage, long-term graft, and patient survival, as well as frequency of rejection post-LT. METHODS: A total of 992 adult LT performed from 1993 to 2018 in a single quaternary center were included. Intraoperative blood product usage, patient, and graft survival, as well as acute and chronic rejection were assessed in patients who received blood retrieved from the organ donor, the "donor blood" (DB) group (n = 437) and patients who did not, the "no donor blood" (NDB) group (n = 555). RESULTS: Processing of DB ensured safe levels of potassium, magnesium, and insulin. There were fewer units of bank red blood cells transfusion required in the DB group compared to NDB group (2 vs. 4 units, P = .01). Graft survival was significantly superior in the DB group (10-year survival 75% vs. 69%, respectively, P = .04) but DST was not an independent predictor of graft survival. There was no significant difference in patient survival or rejection between the groups. There was no difference in treated, biopsy-proven rejection between the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first large-cohort study assessing long-term outcomes of intraoperative DST in LT. The collection of organ donor blood and subsequent use in LT recipients appeared feasible with appropriate quality checks ensuring safety. DST resulted in a reduction in the use of packed red blood cells. There was no difference in the rate of rejection or graft or patient survival.
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    Reduction in post-operative pancreatic fistula with polyethylene glycol and recombinant human albumin sealant following stapled distal pancreatectomy
    Privett, BJ ; Perini, MV ; Weinberg, L ; Fink, MA ; Muralidharan, V ; Lee, E ; Starkey, G ; Jones, R ; Lin, Y-J ; Nikfarjam, M (WILEY, 2021-09-13)
    BACKGROUND: Postoperative pancreatic fistula (POPF) remains a significant cause of morbidity in patients undergoing distal pancreatectomy (DP). The use of polyethylene glycol (PEG) and recombinant human albumin sealant gel applied to the transected pancreatic margin in DP may reduce POPF rates and was assessed. METHODS: A retrospective single centre cohort study of patient undergoing DP at an Australian high volume tertiary institution between January 2015 and January 2021. Rates of POPF in patients undergoing stapled pancreatic transection with PEG sealant were compared to other methods. RESULTS: A total of 54 cases were identified for analysis, with 16 undergoing stapled DP combined with staple line application of PEG (PEG group). Most patients in the control group had stapled DP 92% (35 of 38), with 47% (18 of 38) combined with a reinforcing buttress, with or without the use other glue types. Overall, 28 of 54 (52%) developed a POPF, with a significantly lower rate in the PEG group (3 of 16 vs. 25 of 38 in the Control group; p = 0.003). Clinically significant Grade B/C POPF was lower in the PEG group (0 of 16 vs. 9 of 28 in the Control group; p = 0.045), and patients in the PEG group had a shorter median (range) length of hospital stay (6 [4-14] days vs. 10 [6-41] days p = 0.04). CONCLUSION: Stapled DP with the application of PEG and recombinant human albumin sealant to the transection line appears to be associated with a lower rate of clinically significant POPF.