Study Concludes No Racial Disparities

The study also suggests that although other factors such as liver cancer or hepatitis may negatively influence long-term survival, race does not. “Survival rates after liver transplantation have been shown to be influenced by race, but earlier data on this subject has been conflicting and may not reflect current management of liver transplant recipients,” says Dr. Johnny C. Hong, assistant professor of surgery, Department of Surgery and Liver and Pancreas Transplantation at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.

Using information from the UCLA transplant database, researchers reviewed 2,728 patients who underwent primary liver transplantation at the Dumont-UCLA Transplant Center from 1984 to 2007. Among these patients, 57 percent were Caucasian, 28 percent were Hispanic, 11 percent were Asian and 4 percent were African American.

Results were analyzed during two time periods correlating to the primary immunosuppressant drug used during that era (cyclosporine from 1984-1993 and tacrolimus from 1994-2007). The use of the modern immunosuppressant drug tacrolimus substantially reduced the risk of acute rejection, graft loss and patient death compared with cyclosporine and resulted in a marked improvement of patient and graft survival outcomes in African-American patients after liver transplantation.

Statistically significant independent predictors of diminished survival in liver transplant patients were older age (more than 55 years), cryptogenic cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), liver cancer and hepatitis C cirrhosis. Race was not found to be a predictor of survival.

MEDICA.de; Source: Weber Shandwick Worldwide