Author(s): Poon RT, Fan ST, Ng IO, Wong J
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the influence of the width and histologic involvement of the resection margin on postoperative recurrence after resection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: The significance of the resection margin in hepatectomy for HCC remains controversial. A precise evaluation of the effects of the width and histologic involvement of the resection margin on postoperative recurrence is required to clarify the issue. METHODS: Two hundred eighty-eight patients with macroscopically complete resection of HCC were divided into groups with narrow (<1 cm) or wide (>/=1 cm) resection margins. The two groups were compared for postoperative recurrence rate and pattern of recurrence. A further analysis was performed to investigate the effects of histologic involvement of the resection margin on postoperative recurrence. RESULTS: Recurrence rates were similar between 150 patients with a narrow margin and 138 patients with a wide margin; the groups were comparable in other clinicopathologic variables. Most recurrent tumors occurred in the liver remnant at a segment distant from the resection margin or at multiple segments. Thirty-four patients had margin involved histologically by microscopic invasion from the main tumor (n = 13), venous tumor thrombi (n = 13), or microsatellites separate from the main tumor (n = 8). These patients had significantly higher recurrence rates than those with a histologically clear margin. However, a positive histologic margin was not a significant risk factor for recurrence by multivariate analysis. Tumor stage and perioperative transfusion were the only independent risk factors. CONCLUSIONS: The width of the resection margin did not influence the postoperative recurrence rates after hepatectomy for HCC. A positive histologic margin was associated with a higher incidence of postoperative recurrence, but in most patients this was related to the underlying venous invasion or microsatellites. Most intrahepatic recurrences were considered to arise from intrahepatic metastasis by means of venous dissemination, which a wide resection margin could not prevent.
This article was published in Ann Surg
and referenced in Journal of Integrative Oncology