Incidence of colorectal cancer after liver transplantation for primary sclerosing cholangitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Siddharth Singh, Jithinraj Edakkanambeth Varayil, Edward V Loftus, Jayant A Talwalkar
Liver Transplantation 2013, 19 (12): 1361-9
Patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and associated inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have an increased risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). We estimated the pooled incidence of CRC after liver transplantation (LT) in patients with PSC as well as in a subset of patients with associated IBD (PSC-IBD). Through a systematic review of major bibliographic databases up to April 1, 2013, we identified cohort studies reporting the incidence of de novo CRC after LT for PSC. The main outcome measure was CRC incidence rate (IR) per 1000 person-years after LT in all patients with PSC and in a subset of patients with PSC-IBD with an intact colon. According to a meta-analysis of 18 independent cohorts (69 cases of CRC among 1987 patients), the pooled IR of de novo CRC in patients with PSC after LT was 5.8 per 1000 person-years [95% confidence interval (CI) = 3.8-7.8]. According to a meta-analysis of 16 independent cohort studies (66 cases of CRC among 1017 patients), the IR of CRC in patients with PSC-IBD and an intact colon at the time of LT was 13.5 per 1000 person-years (95% CI = 8.7-18.2). A long duration of IBD and extensive colitis were identified as risk factors for CRC. Specific transplant-related factors that can increase the risk of CRC have not been identified. In conclusion, the risk of CRC remains high for patients who undergo LT for PSC, particularly in the subset of patients with associated IBD and an intact colon at the time of LT. Aggressive colonoscopic surveillance for CRC would be prudent for patients with PSC-IBD even after LT.

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