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Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Dec;98(50):e18362. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000018362.

Resection might be a meaningful choice for hepatocellular carcinoma with portal vein thrombosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

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Research Laboratory and Hepatic Surgery Center, Department of Hepatic Surgery, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.



According to the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) staging system, the presence of portal vein tumor thrombosis (PVTT) is considered to indicate an advanced stage of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with nearly no cure. Hepatic resection and transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) have recently been recommended for treatment of HCC with PVTT.


We conducted a systematic review to compare the overall survival between patients with HCC and PVTT undergoing hepatectomy, TACE or conservative treatment including sorafenib chemotherapy. The PubMed, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library databases were searched. All relevant studies were considered. Hazard ratios with 95% confidence intervals were calculated for comparison of the cumulative overall survival. Ten retrospective studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in the review.


Overall survival was not higher in the hepatectomy group than TACE group. But survival rate was higher in hepatectomy group than conservative group. The subgroup analysis demonstrated that hepatectomy was superior in patients without PVTT in the main trunk than in patients with main portal vein invasion. In patients without main PVTT, hepatectomy has showed more benefit than TACE. However, there has been no significant difference between the hepatectomy and TACE groups among patients with main PVTT.


For patients with resectable HCC and PVTT, hepatectomy might be more effective in patients without PVTT in the main trunk than TACE or conservative treatment.

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