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Surg Oncol. 2010 Dec;19(4):200-7. doi: 10.1016/j.suronc.2009.05.003. Epub 2009 Jun 4.

Hepatic resection for hepatocellular carcinoma exceeding Milan criteria.

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1st Surgical Department, Kostantopouleio-Agia Olga Hospital, Athens, Greece.



Many hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) are discovered at an advanced stage. The efficacy of transplantation for such tumors is doubtable. The aim of this retrospective study was to determine liver resection efficacy in patients with large HCC regarding long term and disease- free survival.


Between 2002 and 2008, sixty six patients with large HCC (>5cm) underwent hepatectomy. Fifty nine patients had background cirrhosis due to hepatitis B, C or other reason and preserved liver function (Child A). Liver function was assessed by both Child's-Pugh grading and MELD score. Conventional approach of liver resection was performed in most cases.


The 5-year overall survival was 32% with a median follow up of 33 months. The three year disease-free survival was 33% in our cohort. On multivariate analysis, only tumor size and grade remained independent predictors of adverse long term outcome. Multivariate analysis identified size of the primary tumour and degree of differentiation as risk factors for recurrence. Median blood loss was 540ml and median transfusion requirements were two units of pack red blood cells. Morbidity included pleural effusion (n=18), biliary fistula (n=4), peri-hepatic abscess (n=4), hyperbilirubinemia (n=3), pneumonia (n=5) and wound infection (n=6). No peri-operative mortality was reported in our study.


Partial hepatectomy is safe in selective patients with large HCC. Surgical resection if feasible is suggested in patients with large HCC because it prolongs both overall and disease-free survival with low morbidity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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