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HPB (Oxford). 2008;10(4):289-95. doi: 10.1080/13651820802168068.

Long-term outcome of hepatocellular carcinoma patients who underwent liver resection using microwave tissue coagulation.

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Department of Surgery, Kansai Medical University, Osaka, Japan.



Our policy for the surgical treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has been to minimize the extent of liver resection using a microwave tissue coagulator (MTC) and to not perform Pringle's maneuver for the prevention of ischemic injury to the liver routinely. We verify the safety of liver resection using MTC in HCC patients with poor liver functional reserve, and clarify the long-term outcome of HCC patients who underwent curative resection using MTC.


One hundred sixty-eight patients who underwent curative resection using MTC between 1992 and 2001 were divided into two groups according each patient's score in the Indocyanin Green Retension 15 Test (ICG-R15 test). The high (ICG-R15 values>20) and low ICG-R15 groups (ICG-R15 values<20) included 100 and 68 HCC patients, respectively. Clinical characteristics of each group were evaluated, and operative mortality and morbidity, as well as overall and disease-free survival rates, were compared between the two groups to determine risk factors for overall and disease-free survival.


Although there were significant differences in liver function-related parameters between the low and high ICG-R15 groups, no differences in surgical or tumor factors were found. No patients in this study developed post-operative liver failure, and there was no significant difference in morbidity between the low and high ICG-R15 groups. The overall survival rate of the low ICG-R15 group was significantly longer than the high ICG-R15 group (p=0.0003). Cox's multivariate analysis showed that an ICG-R15 value less than 20 was the only significant independent factor for overall survival. Disease-free survival rates in the low ICG-R15 group were significantly longer than in the high ICG-R15 group (p=0.0007). Multivariate analysis showed that serum albumin level and number of tumors were significant independent factors for disease-free survival.


The long-term outcome of HCC patients with low ICG-R15 following curative resection using MTC was acceptable. This procedure was safe even for patients with high ICG-R15.


disease-free survival; indocyanin green test; overall survival; post-operative complication

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