Surgical Strategy for Hilar Cholangiocarcinoma of the Left-Side Predominance: Current Role of Left Trisectionectomy

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To evaluate recent surgical strategy for hilar cholangiocarcinoma (HC) of the left-side predominance.


When employing left hemihepatectomy (LH) for HC, vasculobiliary anatomy of the right liver often makes it difficult to achieve a tumor-free margin of the right posterior sectional bile duct (RPSBD). Because left trisectionectomy (LTS) can produce a longer resection margin for the RPSBD, we have expanded the indications for LTS over the last 5 years.


Sixty-one consecutive patients underwent left-sided hepatectomy for HC, divided into 2 groups according to the operative periods: period 1 (2001–2007; n = 29) and period 2 (2008–2012; n = 32). Clinicopathological outcomes of the groups were compared. The difference in the length of the resectable RPSBD between LH and LTS was radiologically investigated using multidetector-row computed tomography.


The proportion of LTS increased from 10.3% (3/29) in period 1 to 46.9% (15/32) in period 2. R0 resection rates were also improved in period 2. The most common margin positive site in period 1 was the stump of the proximal bile duct; high rates of positive RPSBD stump were noted after LH. The positive proximal ductal margin ratio decreased significantly in period 2. The difference in the length of resectable RPSBD between LH and LTS was 9.0 ± 1.3 mm. There was no mortality in period 2, even after LTS.


LTS for HC of the left-side predominance improved R0 resection rates without affecting postoperative mortality. LTS should be aggressively performed in patients with appropriate hepatic function, even if tumors are possibly resectable by LH.

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