Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery

, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 842–851 | Cite as

Operative Mortality After Hepatic Resection: Are Literature-Based Rates Broadly Applicable?

  • Bolanle Asiyanbola
  • David Chang
  • Ana Luiza Gleisner
  • Hari Nathan
  • Michael A. Choti
  • Richard D. Schulick
  • Timothy M. Pawlik
original article



Literature-based data on mortality after hepatectomy may be misleading, as poor outcomes are less likely to be published. The objective of the current study was to compare published vs public, nationally available mortality rates after hepatic resection.

Materials and Methods

A systematic MEDLINE review was conducted to identify reports of hepatectomy outcome between January 1998–December 2004. Data were analyzed to calculate literature-based mortality rate and then compared with population-based mortality rate for hepatectomy using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) dataset.


Twenty-three publications fulfilled screening criteria. The studies included 7,073 patients who had undergone hepatic resection (46.1% within USA vs 53.9% outside USA). Most patients were male (58.6%) with median age of 56 years. Indications for hepatic resection included hepatocellular carcinoma (47.7%), metastatic disease (34.3%), or other (18.1%). Cirrhosis was present in 23.2% of patients; 46.9% patients underwent either a hemi-hepatectomy or extended resection. The literature-based mortality rate was 3.6% (US centers only, 2.8%). Analysis of NIS revealed 11,429 hepatectomy cases. After controlling for gender, age, extent of hepatectomy, hepatocellular cancer diagnosis, and presence of cirrhosis, the adjusted NIS-based perioperative mortality rate for hepatectomy was 5.6% (95% CI, 5.0–6.2%). The relative mortality after hepatectomy was 1.6-fold higher based on population-based data compared with reports from the literature (P < 0.05).


Actual population-based mortality rates for major liver resections may be higher than those reported in the literature. Informed consent should reflect actual local and national mortality rates rather than selective reports from the literature.


Hepatic resection Mortality Perioperative Population-based 



Dr. Pawlik and Dr. Nathan are supported by Grant Number 1KL2RR025006-01from National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and NIH Roadmap for Medical Research. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of NCRR or NIH.


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Copyright information

© The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bolanle Asiyanbola
    • 1
  • David Chang
    • 1
  • Ana Luiza Gleisner
    • 1
  • Hari Nathan
    • 1
  • Michael A. Choti
    • 1
  • Richard D. Schulick
    • 1
  • Timothy M. Pawlik
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryJohns Hopkins HospitalBaltimoreUSA

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