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South African Journal of Surgery

On-line version ISSN 2078-5151
Print version ISSN 0038-2361


BHAIJEE, F.; KRIGE, J. E. J.; LOCKETZ, M. L.  and  KEW, M. C.. Liver resection for non-cirrhotic hepatocellular carcinoma in South African patients. S. Afr. j. surg. [online]. 2011, vol.49, n.2, pp.68-74. ISSN 2078-5151.

BACKGROUND: We describe the clinicopathologic features and outcome of South African patients who have undergone hepatic resection for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) arising in a non-cirrhotic liver. METHODS: We utilised the prospective liver resection database in the Surgical Gastroenterology Unit at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, to identify all patients who underwent surgery for HCC with non-cirrhotic liver parenchyma between 1990 and 2008. RESULTS: Twenty-two patients (10 men, 12 women, 3 black, 19 white, median age 47 years, range 21 - 79 years) underwent surgery for non-cirrhotic HCC. Sixteen patients had non-fibrolamellar HCC (Group 1); 6 patients had fibrolamellar HCC (Group 2). Group 1 had a median age of 55 years, and 6 (38%) were men; group 2 had a median age of 21 years, and 5 (83%) were men. Most patients had a solitary tumour at diagnosis; median largest tumour diameters in Groups 1 and 2 were 10 cm (range 4 - 21) and 12 cm (range 4 - 17), respectively. Patients in Group 1 underwent extended right hepatectomy (N=3), right hepatectomy (N=3), left hepatectomy (N=3), partial hepatectomy (N=7), cholecystectomy (N=6), and appendicectomy (N=1). Patients in Group 2 underwent extended right hepatectomy (N=1), right hepatectomy (N=1), left hepatectomy (N=2), segmentectomy (N=2), and portal lymphadenectomy (N=3). Recurrence rates in Groups 1, 2, and overall were 81%, 100% and 86%, respectively. Median overall survival was 46 months, with 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates of 95%, 59% and 45%, respectively. In Group 1, median survival was 39 months, with 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates of 100%, 56% and 38% respectively. In Group 2, median survival was 61 months, with 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates of 83%, 67% and 67%, respectively. CONCLUSION: Despite aggressive surgical resection, HCC arising in normal liver parenchyma has a high recurrence rate and an ultimately poor outcome. This finding is similar to both the recent international experience of non-cirrhotic HCC and local experience of fibrolamellar HCC.

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