Preoperative maximal removal rate of technetium-99m-galactosyl-human serum albumin of the remnant liver is associated with postoperative tumor relapse in hepatitis C virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma

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BackgroundPrognosis in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is not only influenced by tumor-related factors but also by the background liver functions. The maximal removal rate of technetium-99m-galactosyl human serum albumin (GSA-Rmax) of the remnant liver (rGSA-Rmax) is a useful candidate for predicting the liver function and clarifying the relationship between the remnant liver functional reserve and tumor-free survival in patients who have undergone hepatectomy.Patients and methodsOne hundred and sixty-five patients with HCC who underwent curative hepatectomy were divided into three groups of hepatitis B virus (B-HCC; n=42), hepatitis C virus (C-HCC, n=58), and non-B, non-C (NBNC-HCC, n=65). The relationship between rGSA-Rmax and survival was examined by univariate and multivariate analyses.ResultsIn the C-HCC group, the albumin, or LHL15, level was significantly lower, and alanine aminotransferase, ICGR15, and the prevalence of grade B liver damage were significantly higher than other two groups (P<0.05). GSA-Rmax or rGSA-Rmax was not different between the three groups. Lower GSA-Rmax and rGSA-Rmax were only significantly associated with lower tumor-free survival in the C-HCC group by the univariate analysis (P<0.05) but not significantly by the multivariate analysis.ConclusionGSA-Rmax and rGSA-Rmax reflect the severity of liver dysfunction and furthermore, the lower rGSA-Rmax is useful as a complementary factor to predict the early HCC recurrence after hepatectomy.

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