Liver resection for non-cirrhotic hepatocellular carcinoma in south african patients
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.