By review of a reported series, is outcome related to surveillance after hepatectomy?
We reviewed English-language literature indexed on MEDLINE from January 1, 1990, through December 31, 2002. Indexing terms were combinations of hepatectomy, colorectal metastases, and recurrence with prognostic, repeat, follow-up, or surveillance.
Studies containing any of the following data fields were included: recurrence after hepatectomy, rates of repeat hepatectomy, 5-year survival (overall or disease free) after hepatectomy (initial or repeat), posthepatectomy surveillance protocol, and detection of recurrence by surveillance modality.
Data were taken directly from a small number of articles and pooled across studies for analysis. We highlighted difficulties in assessing data quality and validity as a caveat to the interpretation of the results.
The rate of recurrence after hepatectomy was 58%, and the rate of hepatic recurrence was 30%. Repeat hepatectomy was performed in 9.6% of cases. Five-year survivals after initial and repeat hepatectomy were 29% and 38%, respectively. Many studies did not report their surveillance protocols. For those that did, computed tomography or ultrasonography with carcinoembryonic antigen measurement most commonly formed the basis of surveillance. No data related surveillance techniques to the outcomes of recurrence detection, repeat hepatectomy, or survival.
This review confirmed the value of repeat hepatectomy for recurrent disease, but uncovered no direct evidence supporting any surveillance modalities. Further studies are clearly needed, and approaches to these are discussed.