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J Korean Surg Soc. 2013 Dec;85(6):269-74. doi: 10.4174/jkss.2013.85.6.269. Epub 2013 Nov 26.

The optimal follow-up period in patients with above 5-year disease-free survival after curative liver resection for hepatocellular carcinoma.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgery, Wonju Severance Christian Hospital, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, Wonju, Korea.
  • 2Department of Surgery, Yonsei University Health System, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Although many patients with hepatocellular carcinoma experience recurrence within 2 years after hepatectomy, some patients with T1 and T2 hepatocellular carcinoma show recurrence-free survival for more than 5 years after surgery. This study was designed to analyze the optimal follow-up period on patients with T1 and T2 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) showing recurrence-free survival 5 years after surgery.

METHODS:

One hundred seventy patients underwent hepatectomy from January 1995 to December 1999. Numbers of patients with T1 and T2 HCC were 76 and 73, respectively. The recurrence patterns of patients experiencing recurrence more than 5 years after liver resection were analyzed in aspect of clinicopathological features and follow-up period.

RESULTS:

Thirteen patients experienced recurrence more than 5 years after surgery. Only age was found as a significant factor for recurrence. Eight patients were checked regularly with 6-month intervals and the others were checked with 12-month or more intervals. The size of the recurrent tumors in the 6-month interval group had a median of 1.1 cm (range, 1 to 4.2 cm) and the size of the recurrent tumors in the 12-month or more interval group had a median of 3 cm (range, 1.6 to 4 cm). The tumor size was significantly smaller in the 6-month interval group.

CONCLUSION:

Though the patients with early stage HCC showed high overall survival, some patients experienced a late recurrence of more than 5 years after surgery. Patients less than 60 years old with early stage HCC should be checked regularly with 6-month intervals even over 5 years after liver resection.

KEYWORDS:

Hepatocellular carcinoma; Recurrence; Surveillance

PMID:
24368984
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3868678
Free PMC Article
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