Background Expanding patient selection beyond the Milan criteria in living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has long been a matter for debate. We have used the Kyushu University Criteria – maximum tumor diameter <5 cm or des-γ-carboxy prothrombin <300 mAU/ml – in LDLT for HCC since June 2007. The aim of the present study was to present the results of our prospective patient selection by Kyushu University Criteria and to confirm whether or not our criteria were justified. Methods The entire study period was divided into the pre-Kyushu era (July 1999–May 2007) and the Kyushu era (June 2007–November 2014). Eighty-nine and 90 patients underwent LDLT for HCC in the pre-Kyushu era and the Kyushu era, respectively. Results In the pre-Kyushu era, there were significant differences in recurrence-free and disease-specific survival between the beyond-Milan and the within-Milan patients. In the Kyushu era, however, the differences in recurrence-free and disease-specific survival between the beyond-Milan and the within-Milan patients disappeared. The 5-year overall patient survival in the Kyushu era was 89.4%. Conclusion Our selection criteria enabled a considerable number of beyond-Milan patients to undergo LDLT without jeopardizing the recurrence-free, and disease-specific, and overall patient survival.
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