Background & aims: The surgical indications for multiple hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) and for HCC with portal hypertension (PHT) remain controversial.
Methods: We reviewed 434 patients who had undergone an initial resection for HCC and divided them into a multiple (n = 126) or single (n = 308) group according to the number of tumors. We also classified 386 of the patients into a PHT group (n = 136) and a no-PHT (n = 250) group according to whether they had PHT (defined by the presence of esophageal varices or a platelet count of <100,000/microL in association with splenomegaly).
Results: Among Child-Pugh class A patients, the overall survival rates in the multiple group were 58% at 5 years, and 56% in the PHT group, which were lower than those in the single group (68%, P = .035) and the no-PHT group (71%, P = .008). Among Child-Pugh class B patients with multiple HCCs, the 5-year overall survival rate was 19%. Multivariate analyses revealed that the presence of multiple tumors was an independent risk factor for postoperative recurrence (relative risk, 1.64; 95% confidence interval, 1.23-2.18; P = .001). A second resection resulted in satisfactory overall survival after the diagnosis of recurrence in the multiple (73% at 3 years) or PHT (73%) groups, as well as in the single (79%) or no PHT (81%) groups.
Conclusions: Resection can provide survival benefits even for patients with multiple tumors in a background of Child-Pugh class A cirrhosis, as well as in those with PHT.