Background: Limited data exist regarding the role of extended liver resection for the management of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC), most of which derive from small single-center or larger multicenter series. In the current report, we present our experience with the surgical management of ICC, analyze operative results, and investigate prognostic factors in resected patients.
Methods: A total of 72 patients underwent operative exploration for ICC between 1991 and 2005; 54 patients were resected, and 18 patients were deemed unresectable based on intraoperative findings. Demographics, pathology, anatomic characteristics, operative results, and survival were analyzed.
Results: The resectability rate was 71%, with negative margins achieved in 78% of the resected patients. Extended liver resections were performed in 24 (44%) of the 72 patients. Perioperative mortality after resection was 7%, with 11% morbidity. The 1-, 3- and 5-year survival rates after resection were 80%, 49% and 25%, respectively, and were significantly greater than for patients with unresectable disease (P < .001). R1 liver resections conferred increased 5-year survival compared with patients deemed unresectable (P = .03). None of the factors evaluated proved to be independent prognostic factors on multivariate analysis.
Conclusions: R0 resection of ICC provides the best chance for prolonged survival, whereas R1 resection appears to be superior to nonoperative treatment. Declining operative mortality as a result of improved intraoperative and perioperative care justifies the performance of extended liver resections in these patients, although benefit has to be evaluated with respect to nodal involvement.