Salvage Hepatectomy for Recurrent Hepatocellular Carcinoma after Radiofrequency Ablation and/or Transcatheter Arterial Chemoembolization: A Propensity Score-Matched Analysis

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Aim: We aimed to evaluate the short- and long-term surgical outcomes of salvage hepatectomy for recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and/or transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE). Methods: We reviewed the surgical outcomes of 90 recurrent HCC patients after RFA and/or TACE (salvage group) and 490 HCC patients without preoperative treatment (primary group). We performed 1:1 propensity score matching (PSM) between the 2 groups and matched 87 patients in each group. Results: Before PSM, the salvage group was pathologically more advanced than the primary group. After PSM, there were no significant differences in the clinicopathological features between the groups. The outcomes of propensity score-matched groups were compared and there was no statistically significant difference between the 2 groups regarding perioperative outcomes and survival. Univariate and multivariate analyses of propensity score-matched HCC patients revealed that stage, tumor size, differentiation, and portal vein invasion were independent prognostic factors for survival. Preoperative RFA and/or TACE was not a prognostic factor in a propensity score-matched cohort. Conclusions: The short- and long-term surgical outcomes of the primary and salvage groups were similar under the matched clinicopathological background. Salvage hepatectomy might be an acceptable treatment for recurrent HCC patients after RFA and/or TACE.

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