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World J Surg. 2014 Jan;38(1):159-67. doi: 10.1007/s00268-013-2240-1.

Inferior right hepatic vein-preserving major right hepatectomy for hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with significant fibrosis or cirrhosis.

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  • 1Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital, School of Medicine, Nanjing University, 321 Zhong Shan Road, Nanjing, 210008, Jiangsu, China.



Liver resection represents a most effective treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The extent of hepatectomy for HCC involves maintaining a tricky balance between radical resection of tumors and preservation of sufficient liver parenchyma. Generally, removal of the right hepatic vein often involves resection of the whole posterior right lobe, which may prevent patients with impaired liver function from maintaining a functional reserve and could also limit the future liver remnant from curative hepatectomy. As a common anatomic variation, preservation of the inferior right hepatic vein (IRHV) may enable preservation of liver segment 6, even when the right hepatic vein has to be removed. In the present study, we report our experience with IRHV-preserving major right hepatectomy.


From February 2009 to December 2011, eight trisegmentectomies 5-7-8 and two segmentectomies 4-5-7-8 were performed with the IRHV-sparing technique on patients with HCC and significant fibrosis or cirrhosis. Data including demographic information, preoperative evaluations, postoperative outcomes, and follow-up results were collected and evaluated.


All patients survived and recovered from hepatectomy. The incidence of complications was higher in cirrhotic patients. The 1-year overall survival rate was 80 %, and the 1-year disease free survival rate was 60 %.


IRHV-preserving major right hepatectomy increases the resectability of HCC. Intraoperative ultrasonography is recommended to facilitate protection of the IRHV. This technique is safe with careful preoperative evaluation and meticulous perioperative care. The short-term outcome of IRHV-preserving liver resections is satisfactory.

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