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Hepatogastroenterology. 2002 Sep-Oct;49(47):1363-8.

Hepatic resection for hepatocellular carcinoma existing with liver cirrhosis.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital and Atomic Bomb Survivors Hospital, Hiroshima 730-8619, Japan.



Hepatocellular carcinoma is usually complicated with liver cirrhosis, which makes its treatment difficult. Also a high rate of recurrence exists after surgical resection. However, how the prognosis after surgical treatment is affected by the severity of coexisting cirrhosis has not been clarified.


We compared the postoperative longterm courses of hepatocellular carcinoma patients with cirrhosis according to the liver function. All 112 hepatocellular carcinoma patients in this study underwent curative hepatic resection, and were classified into three groups according to the severity of liver dysfunction. The ICG R15' (indocyanine green retention test) normal: < 10%) was used in this study. Patients whose ICG R15' was less than 20% were classified as group I of 62, patients equal to 20% or between 20% and 30% as group II of 24, and patients equal to and more than 30% as group III of 26.


In this series, 76 of 112 patients had recurrence (68%). A second hepatic resection was performed in six cases of group I and one case in group II. Fifty-eight of 76 recurrent cases (76%) were treated with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization. A total of eleven cases had no transcatheter arterial chemoembolization in the three groups: 3 cases in group I, 5 cases in group II, and 3 cases in group III; The three cases of group III had no treatment because of extremely poor liver dysfunction, whilst the 8 patients without transcatheter arterial chemoembolization in groups I and II had hepatocellular carcinoma itself and other diseases. The 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates after recurrence were 92%, 48%, and 14%, respectively, in group I; 83%, 37%, 12%, respectively, in group II; and 66%, 30%, 0%, respectively, in group III. The prognosis was significantly worse according to the degree of liver dysfunction (p = 0.0206).


The prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma with liver cirrhosis is affected not only by hepatocellular carcinoma itself, but also by the severity of the coexisting cirrhosis. Moreover, the cirrhotic liver can decline due to surgery. Surgical resection of this disease should be performed after careful patient selection and using a less invasive technique.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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