Racial Disparities in Liver Transplantation for Hepatocellular Carcinoma in the United States: An Update

Yassine Kilani, Syeda Ashna Fatima Kamal, Fnu Vikash, Sindhu Vikash, Mohammad Aldiabat, Saqr Alsakarneh, Yazan Aljabiri, Haris Sohail, Vikash Kumar, Laith Numan, Kawtar Al Khalloufi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Previous studies have demonstrated a disparity in liver transplantation (LT) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) among races in the United States (U.S.). Aims: We aimed to update the literature on the odds, trends, and complications of LT in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), among individuals of different racial backgrounds. Methods: This is a nationwide study of adult individuals admitted for LT with a primary diagnosis of HCC. Using weighted data from the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) database, we compared the odds of LT among different races from 2016 to 2020, using a multivariate regression analysis. We further assessed the trends and outcomes of LT among races. Results: A total of 112,110 adult were hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of HCC. 3020 underwent LT. When compared to Whites, the likelihood of undergoing LT for HCC was significantly reduced in Blacks (OR = 0.60, 95% CI = 0.46–0.78). Further, Blacks had increased mortality rates (7% in Blacks vs. 1% in Whites, p < 0.001), sepsis (11% in Blacks vs. 3% in Whites, p = 0.015), and acute kidney injury (AKI) (54% in Blacks vs. 31% in Whites, p < 0.001) following LT. Conclusions: Individuals identifying as Blacks were less likely to undergo LT for HCC, and more likely to develop complications. Further initiatives are warranted to mitigate the existing disparities among racial groups. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4050-4059
Number of pages10
JournalDigestive diseases and sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Liver transplant
  • Mortality
  • Outcomes
  • Racial disparities


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