Preoperative portal vein embolization improves prognosis after right hepatectomy for hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with impaired hepatic function




Percutaneous transhepatic portal vein embolization (PTPE) increases the safety of subsequent major hepatectomy. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of PTPE on long-term prognosis after hepatectomy in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).


Seventy-one patients with HCC underwent right hepatectomy between 1984 and 1998. Preoperative PTPE was performed in 33 patients (group 1) and was not used in 38 patients (group 2). Outcome after operation was compared between the groups. The patients were further divided according to the median tumour diameter (cut-off 6 cm) and indocyanine green retention rate at 15 min (ICGR15) (cut-off 13 per cent).


The cumulative survival rate was significantly higher in group 1 than in group 2 in patients with an ICGR15 of at least 13 per cent. Tumour-free survival rates were similar in both groups. Of patients with tumour recurrence after right hepatectomy, those in group 1 were more frequently subjected to further treatment.


Preoperative PTPE improves the prognosis after right hepatectomy for HCC in patients with impaired hepatic function, although it does not prevent tumour recurrence. © 2000 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd