There is increasing evidence that neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) may play a role in predicting recurrence in patients with hepatitis B virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after liver transplantation. In the original study by Yan et al, it was aimed to determine whether an elevated NLR is associated with tumor recurrence. Total tumor size (> 9 cm) and macro-vascular invasion were found to be more significant than NLR according to the multivariate logistic regression analysis. Therefore, substantive significance should be emphasized rather than NLR because total tumor size and macro-vascular invasion are easier and more expressive than NLR in assessing HCC recurrence. NLR and platelet-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) are markers which are easy to obtain and can be used as inflammation indicators. Moreover, assessment of both NLR and PLR may add some value as a good predictor of risk for post-liver transplantation HCC recurrence. However, while the study was constructed on whole blood analysis, further details about the features and performance characteristics of the whole-blood analyzer, and preanalytical/analytical variables should also be mentioned. (C) 2014 Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.