BACKGROUND: Major hepatic resection of more than three segments in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a high-risk operation, especially in patients with co-existing underlying liver diseases. The present study evaluated risk factors for postoperative morbidity and mortality after major hepatic resection in HCC patients with underlying liver diseases.
METHODS: Perioperative data of 305 HCC patients with underlying liver diseases who underwent major hepatic resection were evaluated by univariate and multivariate analyses to identify risk factors for postoperative morbidity and mortality.
RESULTS: The overall morbidity rate was 37.0% (n = 113), caused by pleural effusion (n = 56), ascites (n = 43), subphrenic effusion/infection (n = 23), hepatic dysfunction (n = 22), bile leakage (n = 10), respiratory infection (n = 7), incision infection (n = 7), intra-abdominal hemorrhage (n = 5), and others. The hospital mortality rate was 2.6% (n = 8), primarily caused by liver failure (4/8). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that preoperative platelet count <100 × 10(9)/l (P = 0.006), and increased intraoperative blood loss (≥800 ml) (P = 0.008) were independent risk factors of postoperative morbidity, and that preoperative prothrombin time >14 s (P = 0.015) and preoperative platelet count <100 × 10(9)/l (P = 0.007) were independent risk factors for significant hospital mortality.
CONCLUSIONS: Careful preoperative selection of patients in terms of the Child-Pugh classification and decrease of intraoperative blood loss are important measures to reduce postoperative morbidity after major hepatic resection in HCC patients with underlying liver diseases. Moreover, we should be aware that preoperative platelet count is independently associated with postoperative morbidity and mortality for those patients following major hepatic resection.