Hepatic metastasectomy in children




There are little data regarding the safety and efficacy of hepatic metastasectomy for solid tumors in childhood. We reviewed our institutional experience to assess operative mortality and morbidity, technique of resection, local control, and survival in pediatric patients undergoing liver resection for metastases.


All pediatric patients who underwent hepatic resection for metastatic disease from August 1988 to July 2005 were retrospectively identified and clinical data were collected.


Fifteen patients were identified during this period and primary malignancies included neuroblastoma (7), Wilms tumor (3), osteogenic sarcoma (2), malignant gastric epithelial tumor (1), and desmoplastic small round cell tumor (2). Twelve patients underwent anatomical hepatic resections and 3 had wedge resections. There were no intraoperative or postoperative deaths. The 2 postoperative complications included 1 wound infection and 1 bile collection. The median follow-up after hepatic resection was 1.6 years (0.2–7 years). Three patients remain alive. Eleven patients died of progressive disease; 4 patients suffered local recurrence. One patient died from enterocolitis and sepsis and was without evidence of malignancy at the time of death.


Hepatic metastasectomy in children is feasible and is associated with a low operative mortality and morbidity. In this small group of patients anatomic hepatectomy was associated with better local control compared with wedge resection. Overall prognosis in these patients remains poor and the decision to perform hepatic metastasectomy should be highly selective. Cancer 2007. © 2007 American Cancer Society.