Research Article

Large hepatocellular cancers: hepatic resection or liver transplantation?

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 291 doi: (Published 28 September 1985) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;291:853
  1. O Søreide,
  2. A Czerniak,
  3. L H Blumgart


    Thirteen patients with primary hepatocellular cancer were studied to outline criteria for resectability in patients with large liver tumours. The mean age was 34 and the mean tumour diameter 13 cm (range 7-18 cm). Five of the tumours had a diameter of 15 cm or more. Extensive radiological investigations showed that seven of the patients had tumours of both right and left lobes of the liver, 10 had evidence of vascular invasion, and three had evidence of extrahepatic spread. Only two of the patients underwent a classically described formal hepatic resection, the rest having extensive resections crossing major anatomical planes. In no instance did the vascular invasion preclude resection, and extrahepatic spread could be verified in only one patient. The traditional criteria of resectability--that is, tumours located to one main lobe of the liver without vascular invasion and extrahepatic spread--can and should be extended. Resection may be preferable to transplantation even in patients with large primary liver tumours.