Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery

, Volume 22, Issue 12, pp 2037–2044 | Cite as

Practical Contribution of Virtual Hepatectomy for Colorectal Liver Metastases: a Propensity-Matched Analysis of Clinical Outcome

  • Takeshi Takamoto
  • Keiji Sano
  • Takuya Hashimoto
  • Akihiko Ichida
  • Kei Shimada
  • Yoshikazu Maruyama
  • Masatoshi Makuuchi
Original Article



Recent improvements in imaging technologies have enabled surgeons to perform precise planning using virtual hepatectomy (VH). However, the practical and clinical benefits of VH remain unclear. This study sought to assess how three-dimensional analysis using a VH contributed to preoperative planning and postoperative outcome in patients undergoing liver surgery for the treatment of colorectal liver metastases (CRLM).


From 2007 to 2017, a total of 473 CRLM patients who received curative hepatectomy were retrospectively assessed. A 1:1 matched propensity analysis was performed between patients who did not receive a VH (without 3D group: n = 188) and received a VH (3D(+) group: n = 285).


The rate of VH increased over the study period (P < 0.001). After propensity score matching (n = 150 for each group), no significant differences were observed in the intraoperative and postoperative outcome, including liver transection time, blood loss, or morbidity between the groups. More patients received a small anatomical resection (plus limited resections) in the 3D(+) group (25 vs 11%, [P = 0.03]). A submillimeter margin was less frequent in the 3D(+) group. No significant differences in the 5-year overall survival and disease-free survival rates were seen between the without 3D group and the 3D(+) group (38.0 vs. 45.9% [P = 0.99], 11.1 vs. 21.7%, respectively [P = 0.109]).


Although VH did not significantly influenced on the long-term outcome after hepatectomy, a more parenchymal-sparing operative procedure (anatomical resections, plus limited resections) was selected and the risk of a submillimeter surgical margin was reduced after introduction of VH.


Liver resection 3D simulation Virtual hepatectomy Colorectal liver metastases Parenchymal-sparing hepatectomy Anatomical hepatectomy 


Author Contribution Statement

Takeshi Takamoto performed data analysis and wrote the manuscript with support from Keiji Sano, Takuya Hashimoto, Akihiko Ichida, Kei Shimada, Yoshikazu Maruyama, and Masatoshi Makuuchi. All authors contributed to data collection, discussed the results, and contributed to the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

The Institutional Review Board of our hospital approved this study protocol (2017-767).

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Divisions of Hepatobiliary-Pancreatic and Liver Transplantation SurgeryJapanese Red Cross Medical CenterTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryTeikyo University School of MedicineTokyoJapan

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