The Clinical Implications of Liver Resection Margin Size in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Terms of Positron Emission Tomography Positivity

Jae Hyun Park, Dong Hwi Kim, Sung Hoon Kim, Moon Young Kim, Soon Koo Baik, In Su Hong

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The positivity of positron emission tomography (PET) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) correlates with aggressive tumor factors and poor survival. Adequate resection margin size is still a topic of debate. We analyzed the clinical implications of resection margin size in patients with HCC in terms of PET positivity. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 92 patients who underwent liver resection from March 2012 to October 2015. We investigated prognostic factors for recurrence and survival. We analyzed the correlation of resection margin size and PET positivity. Resection margins were classified as less than 1 cm and more than 1 cm. Results: Twenty six (31.3%) patients had PET-positive HCC. Multivariate analysis showed PET, satellite nodules, microvessel invasion, and multicentric occurrence were significant prognostic factors for HCC recurrence. Multivariate analysis also showed satellite nodules and microscopic portal vein invasion were significant prognostic factors for overall survival (OS). Resection margin size did not affect disease-free survival (DFS) (p = 0.681) or OS (p = 0.301) in patients with PET-negative HCC, but showed a difference in DFS [<1 cm at 11 months vs. ≥1 cm at 41 months (p = 0.188)] and OS [<1 cm at 28 months vs. ≥1 cm at 48 months (p < 0.001)] in patients with PET-positive HCC. Conclusions: PET has low sensitivity for HCC. However, it is useful to predict treatment outcomes after liver resection or liver transplantation for HCC. Although the extent of liver resection must be decided based on liver function, a resection margin size >1 cm may improve DFS and OS in patients with PET-positive HCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1514-1522
Number of pages9
JournalWorld Journal of Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018 May 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
PET positron emission tomography, HCC hepatocellular carcinoma, AFP alpha-fetoprotein, PIVKA-II prothrombin time induced by vitamin K absence-II, PVI portal vein invasion, BDI bile duct invasion, MVI microvascular invasion, IHM intrahepatic metastasis Acknowledgements This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (2014R1A1A1007901).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Société Internationale de Chirurgie.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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