Although hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with bile duct tumor thrombus (BDTT) is a rare entity, most patients experience tumor recurrence even after curative resection and the prognosis remains dismal. This study aimed to analyze the clinicopathological risk factors for recurrence and poor outcome after surgical treatment of HCC with BDTT.
Clinicopathological data of 37 patients with HCC and BDTT who underwent surgical treatment from July 2005 to June 2012 at the authors’ hospital were reviewed retrospectively. Prognostic factors and potential risk factors for recurrence were assessed by Cox proportional hazard model and binary logistic regression model, respectively.
Among the 37 patients, anatomical and nonanatomical liver resection was performed in 26 and 11 patients, respectively. The resection was considered curative in 19 patients and palliative in 18 patients. Also, 21 cases had tumor recurrence after operation and 7 cases of them were reoperated. Multivariate binary logistic regression model revealed that surgical curability was the only independent risk factor associated with postoperative tumor recurrence (P = 0.034). In addition, postoperative overall survival rates at 1, 2, and 3 years were 64.2%, 38.9%, and 24.3%, respectively. Cox multivariate analysis indicated that surgical curability and tumor recurrence were independent prognostic factors for both overall survival and recurrence-free survival (P < 0.05).
Although patients with HCC and BDTT had a relatively high rate of early recurrence after surgery, relatively favorable long-term outcome after curative hepatic resection could be achieved. Therefore, extensive and curative surgical treatment should be recommended when complete resection can be achieved and liver functional reserve is satisfactory.