The role of surgical resection for hepatocellular carcinoma with tumor thrombi involving the major portal vein is controversial because of a high operative risk and poor prognosis. Previously, a resection was performed only when the tumor thrombi were limited to the first branch of the portal vein without extension to the portal bifurcation.
Concomitant liver and portal vein resection may be beneficial in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma with tumor thrombi extending to portal bifurcation.
University hospital, tertiary referral center.
Among 368 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma who underwent a curative resection, portal vein involvement occurred in 112 patients. Fifteen of the 112 patients underwent a concomitant liver and portal vein resection owing to extension of tumor thrombi to the portal bifurcation (group 1). The remaining 97 patients did not need portal vein resection (group 2).
Surgical indications, procedures, and results of pathological examination of resected specimens were assessed in patients in group 1. The clinicopathological characteristics, operative morbidity and mortality, and operative results were compared between the 2 groups.
Main Outcome Measures
Disease-free and actuarial survival rates.
Intramural tumor infiltration was found at the site of thrombi adhesion to the portal vein cuff in 11 of 15 patients in group 1. Owing to patient selection bias, patients in group 1 were significantly younger and had better liver function and greater resected liver weight. The operative time, postoperative hospitalization, operative blood loss, amount of blood transfusion, and operative morbidity and mortality did not differ significantly between the 2 groups. The 5-year disease-free survival rates of groups 1 and 2 were 21.6% and 20.4% (P = .19), respectively, while the actuarial survival rates were 26.4% and 28.5% (P = .33), respectively.
Liver resection with partial resection of the portal vein is justified in selected patients with hepatocellular carcinoma with tumor thrombi extending to portal bifurcation.