Outcome After Hepatectomy for Multiple (Four or More) Colorectal Metastases in the Era of Effective Chemotherapy

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Hepatic resection is generally accepted as the only potential for long-term survival in patients with colorectal metastases confined to the liver. Despite an unknown benefit, hepatic resection is playing an increasing role in patients with extensive disease.


A retrospective review of a prospectively maintained hepatobiliary surgical database was carried out. Outcome after hepatectomy for four or more colorectal hepatic metastases was reviewed.


Between 1998 and 2002, out of a total of 584 patients, 98 (17%) with four or more colorectal hepatic metastases were resected. Actuarial 5-year survival was 33% for the entire group, with seven actual 5-year survivors. There were no perioperative deaths, and the perioperative morbidity was 28%. Positive margins and extrahepatic disease resection were independently associated with poor outcome. The median disease-free survival was 12 months, with no actuarial disease-free survivors at 5 years. Recurrence pattern, response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy, time to recurrence, and resection of recurrent disease were also associated with outcome.


Long-term survival can be achieved after resection of multiple colorectal metastases; however, because most patients will experience recurrence of disease, effective adjuvant therapy and close follow-up is necessary.

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