The COVID-19 pandemic caused temporary drops in the supply of organs for trans-plantation, leading to renewed debate about whether T2 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients should receive priority during these times. The aim of this study was to provide a quantitative model to aid decision-making in liver transplantation for T2 HCC. We proposed a novel ethical framework where the individual transplant benefit for a T2 HCC patient should outweigh the harm to others on the waiting list, determining a “net benefit”, to define appropriate organ alloca-tion. This ethical framework was then translated into a quantitative Markov model including Italian averages for waiting list characteristics, donor resources, mortality, and transplant rates ob-tained from a national prospective database (n = 8567 patients). The net benefit of transplantation in a T2 HCC patient in a usual situation varied from 0 life months with a model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score of 15, to 34 life months with a MELD score of 40, while it progressively de-creased with acute organ shortage during a pandemic (i.e., with a 50% decrease in organs, the net benefit varied from 0 life months with MELD 30, to 12 life months with MELD 40). Our study supports the continuation of transplantation for T2 HCC patients during crises such as COVID-19; however, the focus needs to be on those T2 HCC patients with the highest net survival benefit.

Liver transplantation for t2 hepatocellular carcinoma during the covid-19 pandemic: A novel model balancing individual benefit against healthcare resources

Cillo U.;Vitale A.;Frigo A. C.;Feltracco P.;Brancaccio G.;Angeli P.;Burra P.;Lonardi S.;
2021

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic caused temporary drops in the supply of organs for trans-plantation, leading to renewed debate about whether T2 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients should receive priority during these times. The aim of this study was to provide a quantitative model to aid decision-making in liver transplantation for T2 HCC. We proposed a novel ethical framework where the individual transplant benefit for a T2 HCC patient should outweigh the harm to others on the waiting list, determining a “net benefit”, to define appropriate organ alloca-tion. This ethical framework was then translated into a quantitative Markov model including Italian averages for waiting list characteristics, donor resources, mortality, and transplant rates ob-tained from a national prospective database (n = 8567 patients). The net benefit of transplantation in a T2 HCC patient in a usual situation varied from 0 life months with a model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score of 15, to 34 life months with a MELD score of 40, while it progressively de-creased with acute organ shortage during a pandemic (i.e., with a 50% decrease in organs, the net benefit varied from 0 life months with MELD 30, to 12 life months with MELD 40). Our study supports the continuation of transplantation for T2 HCC patients during crises such as COVID-19; however, the focus needs to be on those T2 HCC patients with the highest net survival benefit.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3392340
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