, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 86-92

Results of surgical treatment for recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma; comparison of outcome among patients with multicentric carcinogenesis, intrahepatic metastasis, and extrahepatic recurrence

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No consensus has been reached on the indications for and effectiveness of surgery for secondary intrahepatic hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and extrahepatic metastasis after macroscopically complete removal of primary HCC. Secondary intrahepatic HCCs, usually regarded as recurrence are classified into those arising as a result of multicentric carcinogenesis or intrahepatic metastases derived from the primary HCC. The present study was designed to evaluate the utility of surgical treatment in relation to the pathogenesis of the secondary HCC: classified as multicentric carcinogenesis (MC), intrahepatic metastasis (IM), and extrahepatic metastasis. Thirty patients underwent extirpation of secondary HCC: 22 patients had secondary HCCs in the remnant liver (MC group; n = 8; IM group, n = 14), 6 patients had extrahepatic metastases, and 2 patients had both intrahepatic and extrahepatic metastases. Survival rates after the re-resection in the 22 patients with the secondary intrahepatic HCCs were 94.7% at 1 year, and 50.2% at 3 years postoperatively, and the 8 patients with extrahepatic metastasis had survival rates of 62.5% at 1 year, 37.5% at 3 years, and at 5 years. The survival rates after re-resection in the MC group were 100% at 1 year and 80.0% at 3 years, whereas those in the IM group were 91.7% at 1 year, and 38.1% at 3 years. Surgery can be indicated not only in patients with localized intrahepatic secondary HCCs but also in those with extrahepatic metastasis. In particular, patients with secondary HCCs arising as a result of multicentric carcinogenesis are expected to have a good prognosis.

Received for publication on Jan. 13, 1997; accepted on Aug. 22, 1997