Characterization of hepatitis B and C among liver transplant recipients with hepatocellular carcinoma: An analysis of the nationwide inpatient sample database

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Introduction Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections account for most hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and subsequent liver transplant cases. Racial/ethnic disparities exist in access to liver transplantation and post-transplantation survival, and we sought to compare and explore potential disparities in HBV and HCV-related liver transplant populations. Method The Nationwide Inpatient Sample database was used (2001 to 2010). Results In this study, 2269 liver transplant recipients were included: 56% HCV, 6% HBV, and 37% non-HV. HBV and HCV patients were mostly Asian/Pacific Islander (API) and white, respectively. Within HBV transplant recipients, the mean age was youngest in black patients (P =.02); variation of mean age was not seen within HCV patients. Regarding the transplant recipients' income and insurance, most API and white patients were in the highest income quartile, whereas most black and Hispanic patients were in the lowest income group (P <.001). The most common form of payer across all racial/ethnic groupings was private insurance (P <.001). The mean length of hospitalization was longest in Hispanic patients (P =.008); they had a significantly longer stay compared with white patients (P =.02). The liver transplantations were mostly performed in teaching hospitals, located in urban areas in the West region of the United States (P <.001). Conclusion Differences were found in the HBV and HCV-associated liver transplant populations. More work needs to be done to elucidate disparities regarding black and Hispanic liver transplant recipients as they receive transplants at younger mean ages, are in lower income quartiles, and have longer lengths of hospitalization compared with other racial/ethnic groupings.

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