Long-Term Survival Impact of High-Grade Complications after Liver Resection for Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Retrospective Single-Centre Cohort Study

Chin Wen Kuo, Hsiang Ling Wu, Chun Cheng Li, Juan P. Cata, Hsin Yi Liu, Ming Chih Hou, Yih Giun Cherng, Ying Hsuan Tai

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Background and Objectives: Although complications after liver resection for hepatic cancer are common, the long-term impact of these complications on oncological outcomes remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate the potential effect of high-grade postoperative complications on longterm mortality and cancer recurrence after surgical resection of hepatocellular carcinoma. Materials and Methods: In a retrospective cohort study, patients undergoing curative liver resection for primary hepatocellular carcinoma between 2005 and 2016 were evaluated. The Clavien–Dindo (CD) grading system was used to classify patients into two groups of either high-grade complications (grade III or IV) or none or low-grade complications (grade 0 to II) within 30 days after surgery. The primary endpoint was all-cause mortality. Secondary endpoints were cancer-specific mortality and cancer recurrence. Weighted Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to calculate the adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) with a 95% confidence interval (CI) for the outcomes of interest. Results: A total of 1419 patients with a median follow-up time of 46.6 months were analysed. Among them, 93 (6.6%) developed high-grade complications after surgery. The most common complications were bile leakage (n = 30) in CD grade III and respiratory failure (n = 13) in CD grade IV. High-grade complications were significantly associated with all-cause mortality (aHR: 1.78, 95% CI: 1.55–2.06) and cancer-specific mortality (aHR: 1.34, 95% CI: 1.13–1.60), but not cancer recurrence (aHR: 0.92, 95% CI: 0.84–1.02). Independent influential factors for complications were sex, diabetes mellitus, clinically significant portal hypertension, oesophageal varices, multifocal cancer, intraoperative blood loss, and anaesthesia duration. Conclusions: Patients who had high-grade postoperative complications had a greater risk of long-term mortality after liver resection for hepatocellular carcinoma. Prevention of postoperative complications may serve as an effective strategy for improving long-term survival.

Original languageEnglish
Article number534
JournalMedicina (Lithuania)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • cancer recurrence
  • hepatectomy
  • hepatic cancer
  • mortality
  • survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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