Article: [Cost analysis of liver transplantation in a community hospital: association with the MODEL for End-stage Liver Disease, a prognostic index to prioritize the most severe patients.]Elisabeth Boerr, María Anders, José Mella, Emilio Quiñonez, Nicolás Goldaracena, Federico Orozco, Lucas McCormack, Ricardo Mastai[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of the Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) on transplantation costs. MATERIAL AND METHODS: We included all patients who received a liver transplant for end-stage liver disease between 2006 and 2010. The study period encompassed the day of transplantation until hospital discharge. The patients were classified into two groups: those with a MELD score of 6-19 and those with a score of 20-40. RESULTS: The mean MELD score at transplantation was 19.2±7.0 (mean±SD). The mean cost per procedure in the study period was USD 33,461 per patient (range 21,795-104,629). The cost of transplantation was USD 30,493±8,825 in patients with a MELD score of 6-19 and was USD 36,506±15,833 in those with a score of 20-40; this difference was statistically significant (P=.04). In a stepwise logistic regression analysis, the only independent predictor of high cost was having a MELD score of 20 (OR 11.8; CI 1.6-87). In the linear regression model, the most important predictor of cost was the length of hospital stay (r(2)=43%). DISCUSSION: Our results demonstrate that the MELD score directly affects transplantation costs. We suggest that reimbursement systems compensate the distinct financing bodies according to the severity of the underlying disease, evaluated with the MELD.Gastroenterología y Hepatología 10/2012; · 0.73 Impact Factor
Article: Is it safe to use a liver graft from a Chagas disease-seropositive donor in a human immunodeficiency virus-positive recipient? A case report addressing a novel challenge in liver transplantation.Nicolás Goldaracena, Michelle Mayer Wolf, Emilio Quiñonez, Margarita Anders, Ricardo Mastai, Lucas McCormack[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This is the first report presenting a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patient with fulminant hepatic failure receiving a liver graft from a Chagas disease-seropositive deceased donor. We describe the history of a 38-year-old HIV-positive female patient who developed fulminant hepatic failure of an autoimmune etiology with rapid deterioration of her clinical status and secondary multiorgan failure and, therefore, needed emergency liver transplantation (LT) as a lifesaving procedure. Because of the scarcity of organs and the high mortality rate for emergency status patients on the LT waiting list, we decided to accept a Chagas disease-seropositive deceased donor liver graft for this immunocompromised Chagas disease-seronegative patient. The recipient had a rapid postoperative recovery and was discharged on postoperative day 9 without prophylactic treatment for Chagas disease. Fifteen months after LT, she was still alive and had never experienced seroconversion on periodic screening tests for Chagas detection. Although there is an inherent risk of acute Chagas disease developing in seronegative recipients, our report suggests that these infected organs can be safely used as a lifesaving strategy for HIV patients with a high need for LT.Liver Transplantation 04/2012; 18(8):979-83. · 3.39 Impact Factor
Nicolás Goldaracena, Mariela Barreto, Gabriel Casas, Margarita Anders, Ricardo Mastai, Lucas McCormack[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Liver transplantation (LT) remains the only cure for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in many cases. Over many years, most centers have applied the Milan criteria for selecting cirrhotic patients with HCC for LT. In a new era where several transplant groups are pushing the limits of transplanting HCC outside Milan criteria as an aggressive approach with promising results, we present interesting images of a patient that presented a unique and rare site of HCC metastasis after 36 months of liver transplantation.Case reports in transplantation. 01/2012; 2012:181242.
Article: [Usefulness of transient elastography (Fibroscan®) in the assessment of fibrosis in patients with chronic liver disease].[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The prognosis and management of chronic liver disease largely depends on the extent and progression of liver fibrosis. Unfortunately, liver biopsy, an invasive and painful technique with several limitations, continues to be the gold standard for the staging and grading of fibrosis. Therefore, accurate noninvasive tests for liver injury are urgently needed. During the last years, transient elastography (Fibroscan®) has been proposed for the assessment of hepatic fibrosis in patients with chronic liver disease, by measuring liver stiffness. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness, objectivity and safety of this technique. We included 68 patients who underwent a liver biopsy in the last 18 months with a wide spectrum of chronic liver diseases. All procedures as well as the liver biopsies according to the METAVIR scoring system were analyzed by the same sonographer and the same specialist in pathology, respectively. Median value of stiffness with none or mild fibrosis (F0 and FI), and severe fibrosis or cirrhosis (F3 and F4) was 6.8 ± 3.0 kPa and 21.0 ± 15.1 kPa, respectively, with a significant difference between them (p < 0.01). The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves showed the optimal liver stiffness cut-off values for each group. We found also a positive correlation between liver stiffness found by transient elastography and fibrosis stage on biopsy in all patients, independently of the liver disease etiology. Fibroscan® is an easy, quick to perform and safe non-invasive method, reliable for assessing liver fibrosis.Medicina 01/2012; 72(1):10-4. · 0.47 Impact Factor
Article: [Liver trasplantation for the treatment of non-resectable metastases of neuroendocrine tumors: first report in Argentina].Emilio Quiñonez, Pablo Capitanich, Margarita Anders, José Luis Fernández, Víctor Serafini, Luis Viola, Ricardo Mastai, Lucas McCormack[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Neuroendocrine tumors are uncommon cancers characterized by a slow grow rate. Unresectable liver metastases are the main cause of death in patients with these tumors. This is the first Argentine report of a liver transplantation as an indication for the treatment of unresectable liver metastases from a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor. We present a 48-year-old woman with diagnosis of a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor with multiple bilobar unresectable liver metastases. A splenopancreatectomy was performed after a complete staging revealed absence of extrahepatic disease. Six months later, a follow-up performed with thoracoabdominal CT scan and octreo-scan was consistent with no tumor recurrence or extrahepatic disease. As the huge hepatomegaly caused a notorius deterioration in the patient's quality of life, we decided to include her in the waiting list for liver transplantation. Priority points were requested to the MELD (model for end stage liver disease) Exceptions Experts Committee with a positive response. Twelve months after the primary surgery, with a MELD score of 23 points, a deceased donor liver transplantation was performed without evidence at that moment of residual disease. Eighteen months after liver transplantation, the patient required the surgical repair of a stenosis in the biliary anastomosis. At the surgery peritoneal tumor recurrence was diagnosed. Now, 24 months after liver transplantation the patient has an excellent quality of life and a well functioning graft. We report this case of a liver transplantation as an indication for the treatment of liver metastases from a neuroendocrine tumor and we review the literature on this controversial issue.Acta gastroenterologica Latinoamericana 09/2011; 41(3):242-6.