Background: Intraoperative blood cell salvage and autotransfusion (IBSA) during liver transplantation (LT) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is controversial for concern regarding adversely impacting oncologic outcomes. Objective: We aimed to evaluate the long-term oncologic outcomes of patients who underwent LT with incidentally discovered HCC who received IBSA compared with those who did not receive IBSA. Methods: Patients undergoing LT (January 2001–October 2018) with incidental HCC on explant pathology were retrospectively identified. A 1:1 propensity score matching (PSM) was performed. HCC recurrence and patient survival were compared. Kaplan–Meier survival analyses were performed, and univariable Cox proportional hazard analyses were performed for risks of recurrence and death. Results: Overall, 110 patients were identified (IBSA, n = 76 [69.1%]; non-IBSA, n = 34 [30.9%]). Before matching, the groups were similar in terms of demographics, transplant, and tumor characteristics. Overall survival was similar for IBSA and non-IBSA at 1, 3, and 5 years (96.0%, 88.4%, 83.0% vs. 97.1%, 91.1%, 87.8%, respectively; p = 0.79). Similarly, the recurrence rate at 1, 3, and 5 years was not statistically different (IBSA 0%, 1.8%, 1.8% vs. non-IBSA 0%, 3.2%, 3.2%, respectively; p = 0.55). After 1:1 matching (26 IBSA, 26 non-IBSA), Cox proportional hazard analysis demonstrated similar risk of death and recurrence between the groups (IBSA hazard ratio [HR] of death 1.26, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.52–3.05, p = 0.61; and HR of recurrence 2.64, 95% CI 0.28–25.30, p = 0.40). Conclusions: IBSA does not appear to adversely impact oncologic outcomes in patients undergoing LT with incidental HCC. This evidence further supports the need for randomized trials evaluating the impact of IBSA use in LT for HCC.
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