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Hepatol Res. 2014 Dec;44(14):E335-45. doi: 10.1111/hepr.12313. Epub 2014 Mar 18.

Salvage treatment for local recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma after local ablation therapy.

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Department of Gastroenterological Surgery, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan.



Local recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after local ablation therapy (LAT) is a serious problem; however, the optimal treatment strategy remains unclear.


A retrospective analysis was conducted of 50 patients with local recurrence of HCC after LAT that underwent either salvage hepatectomy (n = 23) or radiofrequency ablation (RFA; n = 27). Their background characteristics, intraoperative data, and postoperative short- and long-term outcome were analyzed.


The RFA group was found to be significantly associated with an impaired liver functional reserve, smaller number and size of tumors. The hepatectomy group showed a significantly longer operation time, greater intraoperative blood loss and more frequent red blood cell transfusion. In-hospital stay mortality and morbidity rate did not significantly differ. The disease-free and overall survival showed no significant difference between the groups. Although local recurrence after salvage treatment was found in zero (0%) for hepatectomy and in seven (25.9%) for RFA, that did not affect the overall survival. The tumor size at the prior LAT was identified as an independent prognostic factor for disease-free survival and serum albumin for overall survival.


Whereas salvage hepatectomy for local recurrent HCC is recommended for selected patients in terms of its good local control effect, salvage RFA is also acceptable because it is less invasive and also has a reasonable long-term outcome.


hepatocellular carcinoma; local ablation therapy; local recurrence; radiofrequency ablation; salvage treatment

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