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Keywords:

  • hepatocellular carcinoma;
  • long-term survival;
  • portal hypertension;
  • surgical resection

Abstract

Background: Hepatic resection for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is not currently recommended for patients with clinically significant portal hypertension (PHT); however, recent studies have shown similar post-operative outcomes between patients with and without clinically significant PHT.

Aim: To clarify the post-operative prognostic relevance of clinically significant PHT in Child–Pugh A cirrhotic patients.

Methods: A total of 100 Child–Pugh A cirrhotic patients who underwent curative resection of HCC were eligible for this analysis. Patients were divided into two groups: PHT group (n=47) and non-PHT group (n=53).

Results: Clinicopathological variables showed no significant differences except for prothrombine time. Liver-related complications were significantly higher in the PHT group (P=0.015), and the 5-year overall survival rate was significantly higher in the non-PHT group (78.7 vs. 37.9%, P<0.001). The proportion of patients who died because of complications of cirrhosis was significantly higher in the PHT group (P=0.001). Multivariate analysis indicated that the presence of clinically significant PHT was the most powerful adverse prognostic factor for overall survival. Multivariate analysis of the 47 patients with clinically significant PHT indicated that gross vascular invasion and non-single nodular type were poor prognostic factors. The 5-year survival rate of patients with single nodular type and without gross vascular invasion (n=17) was 78.4%.

Conclusions: In Child–Pugh A cirrhotic patients, the presence of clinically significant PHT was significantly associated with post-operative hepatic decompensation and poor prognosis after resection of HCC. However, in patients with clinically significant PHT, those with single nodular tumours lacking gross vascular invasion may be good surgical candidates.