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Ann Surg Oncol. 2007 Dec;14(12):3501-9. Epub 2007 Sep 25.

Preoperative portal vein embolization and surgical resection in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and small future liver remnant volume: comparison with transarterial chemoembolization.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Inje College of Medicine, Sanggye Paik Hospital, Seoul, Korea.



Preoperative portal vein embolization (PVE) increases the future liver remnant (FLR) volume, thus enabling surgical resection in patients with small FLR volume. It is unclear, however, if this approach can enhance survival in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We therefore compared the outcomes of preoperative PVE and surgical resection with transarterial chemoembolization (TACE).


Changes in FLR volumes were analyzed in 32 HCC patients who underwent preoperative PVE and surgical resection. Long-term outcomes were compared with 64 TACE-treated patients matched for gender, Child-Turcotte-Pugh class, tumor size and number, serum alpha-fetoprotein levels, and UICC stage.


In the PVE group, the baseline ratio of FLR/total estimated liver volumes (TELV) was 27.6 +/- 7.2%. Following PVE, FLR volume increased 34% (336.5 vs 449.4 mL, P < .001) and the ratio of FLR/TELV increased from 27.6 +/- 7.2 to 36.9 +/- 8.1% (P < .001). There was no mortality associated with PVE or surgical resection. The 5-year survival rate was significantly higher in the PVE group than in the TACE group (71.9% vs 45.6%, P = .03). Multivariate analysis showed that treatment modality was an independent predictive factor for survival (odds ratio 2.05, 95% confidence interval 1.01-4.16, P = .046).


Preoperative PVE enables surgical resection in HCC patients with small FLR volume and improves patient survival compared with TACE.

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