, Volume 35, Issue 9, pp 2063-2072
Date: 30 Jun 2011

Liver Resection of Colorectal Liver Metastases in Elderly Patients

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The percentage of elderly patients with colorectal liver metastases (CLM) has increased. Liver resection remains the only curative therapy; data evaluating the outcome in this age group is limited. Aim of the present study was to determine if postoperative morbidity, mortality, and other independent predictors influence survival in patients ≥70 years undergoing liver resection for CLM.


Clinical data on primary tumor and metastases of 939 patients after liver resection for CLM between 1994 and 2008 were retrospectively collected and subdivided in three age-groups (≥70, 40–69, <40). Independent predictors of survival were evaluated with overall and age-specific univariate and multivariate Cox regression models.


A total of 939 patients underwent liver resection for CLM, 20.3% aged ≥70 years. Overall postoperative mortality and morbidity were 1.08 and 14.82%, revealing no age-related differences. With 5-year survival of 31.8% in the elderly and 37.5% in the mid-age population, age ≥70 years was linked with decreased survival (Hazard Ratio [HR] = 1.305; P = 0.0186). Multivariate overall analyses showed size of CLM > 50 mm (HR = 1.376; P = 0.0060), a high amount of transfusion during surgery (HR = 1.676; P = 0.0110), duration of surgery >210 min (HR = 1.241; P = 0.0322), primary UICC (International Union Against Cancer) stage IV (HR = 2.297; P < 0.0001), and performance of repeat resections (HR = 0.652; P = 0.0107) as independent predictors of survival. In the elderly group, effects of UICC IV (HR = 3.260; P = 0.0148) and high numbers of transfusions (HR = 3.647; P = 0.0129) were confirmed; the others did not show statistical significance.


Resection of CLM at older age is feasible with morbidity and mortality rates similar to those in younger patients. Although age ≥70 was shown to be associated with poorer overall outcome, reasonable 5-year survival was observed.