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Arq Bras Cir Dig. 2013 Nov-Dec;26(4):309-14.

Surgical margin size in hepatic resections for colorectal metastasis: impact on recurrence and survival.

[Article in English, Portuguese]



Approximately 50% of the patients with a colorectal tumor develop liver metastasis, for which hepatectomy is the standard care. Several prognostic factors have been discussed, among which is the surgical margin. This is a recurring issue, since no consensus exists as to the minimum required distance between the metastatic nodule and the liver transection line.


To evaluate the surgical margins in liver resections for colorectal metastases and their correlation with local recurrence and survival.


A retrospective study based on the review of the medical records of 91 patients who underwent resection of liver metastases of colorectal cancer. A histopathological review was performed of all the cases; the smallest surgical margin was verified, and the late outcome of recurrence and survival was evaluated.


No statistical difference was found in recurrence rates and overall survival between the patients with negative or positive margins (R0 versus R1); likewise, there was no statistical difference between subcentimeter margins and those greater than 1 cm. The disease-free survival of the patients with microscopically positive margins was significantly worse than that of the patients with negative margins. The uni- and multivariate analyses did not establish the surgical margin (R1, narrow or less than 1 cm) as a risk factor for recurrence.


The resections of liver metastases with negative margins, independently of the margin width, had no impact on tumor recurrence (intra- or extrahepatic) or patient survival.

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