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Hepatogastroenterology. 2001 May-Jun;48(39):757-61.

Is resection for large hepatocellular carcinoma in cirrhotic patients beneficial? Study of 38 cases.

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Gastroentrology Center, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt.



Hepatocellular carcinoma in cirrhotic patients generally carries a poor prognosis either due to recurrence or to postoperative morbidity or both. Several factors affect the prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma resection as presence of cirrhosis of the liver, tumor diameter and tumor capsulation.


Thirty-eight patients with large hepatocellular carcinoma greater than 5 cm with a background of cirrhotic liver were divided into two groups according to tumor diameter. Group A (n = 20) with tumors less than 10 cm in diameter, and group B (n = 18) with tumors larger than 10 cm. All patients underwent preoperative investigations including clinical laboratory tests, sonography, computed tomography, selective angiography and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. All patients were subjected to different types of hepatic resection.


A significant difference in tumor size, capsulation, and operation time were recorded between the two groups, of patients. No significant difference was detected between both groups regarding sex, age, viral markers, pathologic features, and Child classification. Hospital mortality occurred in 5% versus 11.1% of both groups, respectively. Postoperative jaundice and ascitis occurred in 30%, 35% versus 44.4%, 72.0%, respectively (P < 0.005, P < 0.04). Late mortality occurred in 65% of patients in group A and in 77% of group B. Recurrence was detected in 42% of group A and 62% in group B. Recurrence after resection in capsulated tumors was significantly lower than in noncapsulated tumors in group A (P < 0.01), but not significant in group B. Also, survival rate in patients with capsulated tumors was significantly better in both groups (P < 0.01) than that with noncapsulated tumors.


Resection of hepatocellular carcinoma with diameter larger than 10 cm recorded bad prognosis regarding recurrence and mortality rates than tumors less than 10 cm. However, capsulated tumors gave better postoperative prognosis than noncapsulated ones.

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