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World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Dec 7;18(45):6657-68. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i45.6657.

Meta-analysis of laparoscopic vs open liver resection for hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Department of Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, Sichuan Province, China.



To conduct a meta-analysis to determine the safety and efficacy of laparoscopic liver resection (LLR) and open liver resection (OLR) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).


PubMed (Medline), EMBASE and Science Citation Index Expanded and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials in the Cochrane Library were searched systematically to identify relevant comparative studies reporting outcomes for both LLR and OLR for HCC between January 1992 and February 2012. Two authors independently assessed the trials for inclusion and extracted the data. Meta-analysis was performed using Review Manager Version 5.0 software (The Cochrane Collaboration, Oxford, United Kingdom). Pooled odds ratios (OR) or weighted mean differences (WMD) with 95%CI were calculated using either fixed effects (Mantel-Haenszel method) or random effects models (DerSimonian and Laird method). Evaluated endpoints were operative outcomes (operation time, intraoperative blood loss, blood transfusion requirement), postoperative outcomes (liver failure, cirrhotic decompensation/ascites, bile leakage, postoperative bleeding, pulmonary complications, intraabdominal abscess, mortality, hospital stay and oncologic outcomes (positive resection margins and tumor recurrence).


Fifteen eligible non-randomized studies were identified, out of which, 9 high-quality studies involving 550 patients were included, with 234 patients in the LLR group and 316 patients in the OLR group. LLR was associated with significantly lower intraoperative blood loss, based on six studies with 333 patients [WMD: -129.48 mL; 95%CI: -224.76-(-34.21) mL; P = 0.008]. Seven studies involving 416 patients were included to assess blood transfusion requirement between the two groups. The LLR group had lower blood transfusion requirement (OR: 0.49; 95%CI: 0.26-0.91; P = 0.02). While analyzing hospital stay, six studies with 333 patients were included. Patients in the LLR group were found to have shorter hospital stay [WMD: -3.19 d; 95%CI: -4.09-(-2.28) d; P < 0.00001] than their OLR counterpart. Seven studies including 416 patients were pooled together to estimate the odds of developing postoperative ascites in the patient groups. The LLR group appeared to have a lower incidence of postoperative ascites (OR: 0.32; 95%CI: 0.16-0.61; P = 0.0006) as compared with OLR patients. Similarly, fewer patients had liver failure in the LLR group than in the OLR group (OR: 0.15; 95%CI: 0.02-0.95; P = 0.04). However, no significant differences were found between the two approaches with regards to operation time [WMD: 4.69 min; 95%CI: -22.62-32 min; P = 0.74], bile leakage (OR: 0.55; 95%CI: 0.10-3.12; P = 0.50), postoperative bleeding (OR: 0.54; 95%CI: 0.20-1.45; P = 0.22), pulmonary complications (OR: 0.43; 95%CI: 0.18-1.04; P = 0.06), intra-abdominal abscesses (OR: 0.21; 95%CI: 0.01-4.53; P = 0.32), mortality (OR: 0.46; 95%CI: 0.14-1.51; P = 0.20), presence of positive resection margins (OR: 0.59; 95%CI: 0.21-1.62; P = 0.31) and tumor recurrence (OR: 0.95; 95%CI: 0.62-1.46; P = 0.81).


LLR appears to be a safe and feasible option for resection of HCC in selected patients based on current evidence. However, further appropriately designed randomized controlled trials should be undertaken to ascertain these findings.


Hepatectomy; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Laparoscopy; Meta-analysis; Open liver resection

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