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Preoperative portal vein embolization (PVE) for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma can improve resectability and may improve disease-free survival




The aim of this study is to identify the efficacy of portal vein embolization (PVE) before right hepatectomy in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with regard to hepatic function, surgical stress, and survival benefit.


Fifty-five patients with HCC underwent right hepatectomy between 1999 and 2009. Preoperative PVE was performed in 19 patients (PVE group) and was not applied in 36 patients (non-PVE group). Changes in liver function and volume were investigated in PVE group. Short and long clinical outcomes after the surgeries were compared between the two groups.


The percentage of future liver remnant (%FLR) before PVE was significantly lower (37.8%) in PVE group than in non-PVE group (58.1%) but increased remarkably after PVE (from 37.8% to 55.0%, P < 0.0001). Cumulative disease-free survival and overall survival rates in PVE group were significantly superior to those in non-PVE group (P = 0.010 and 0.049, respectively). Although surgical stress estimated by E-PASS scores and CRP value was not different between the groups, the postoperative value of PT on postoperative day 3 in PVE group was significantly better than in non-PVE group.


Preoperative PVE improves resectability and may improve disease-free survival for patients with HCC requiring right hepatectomy. J. Surg. Oncol. 2011; 104:641–646. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.