A conservative approach using selective intervention is better than an aggressive approach using nonselective intervention for ruptured hepatocellular carcinoma.
Nonrandomized controlled trial.
A university hospital.
Patients and Interventions
From 1984 to 1990, an aggressive approach was adopted in which 29 and 8 of a total of 40 patients underwent surgical intervention or attempted transarterial embolization (TAE), respectively. From 1991 to 1997, a more conservative approach was used. The initial treatment for 72 patients was conservative with close monitoring. Additional hemostatic procedures consisting of TAE (n=13) or surgical intervention (n=9) were given, depending on the clinical progress, disease status, and liver function of the patients.
Main Outcome Measures
In-hospital mortality, survival.
In-hospital mortality rate was 62% (25 of 40 patients) in the first period and 51% (37 of 72 patients) in the second period. The respective median survival times were 7 and 12 days. If 36 patients with end-stage malignant neoplasms were excluded, the in-hospital mortality rate became 60% (18 of 30 patients) in the first period and 35% (16 of 46 patients) in the second period (P=.03, χ2 test). The respective median survival times became 8 and 72 days (P=.02, log rank test). In the second period, 7 (54%) of 13 patients who underwent TAE and 1 (11%) of 9 patients who underwent surgical intervention died within the same hospital admission (P=.07, Fisher exact test).
Selective intervention was cost-effective and gave better results than an aggressive approach. When intervention was indicated for hemostasis, surgery seemed better than TAE although the difference was not statistically significant.