Objective: The purpose of this study was (1) to compare 2-dimensional computed tomographic (2D-CT) and 3D-CT computer-assisted preoperative surgical planning, and (2) to define the indications for the latter method.
Background: The determination of functional residual liver volumes and the imaging of intrahepatic anatomy are critical when planning complex liver resections.
Patients and methods: Prospective study of 202 consecutive patients who underwent high-risk procedures (extended right/left hepatectomies, central resections, polysegmentectomies, large atypical resections, repeated resections, and hepatectomies in the setting of abnormal liver parenchyma). Preoperative evaluation included 3D-CT computer-assisted surgical planning (3D-CASP) and conventional 2D-CT imaging. Endpoints of the study were (1) determination of resectability and (2) changes in operative strategy (resection modifications/extensions/intrahepatic vascular reconstructions).
Results: Thirty-four of 202 cases were considered nonresectable on the basis of both 2D and 3D imaging results. In 56 (33%) instances, 3D-CASP either changed the 2D strategy (expansion of resection, n = 40; intrahepatic vascular reconstructions, n = 13) or provided an entirely different approach (n = 3). Eleven (5.4%) cases were considered unresectable at laparotomy on the basis of poor liver quality (n = 8) or unfeasible vascular reconstructions resulting in remnants too small to sustain physiologic function (n = 3). Significant differences between resectional 2D and functional 3D remnant liver volumes were observed in extended left hepatectomies and left trisectionectomies.
Conclusions: 3D-CASP was particularly helpful in patients with unconventional resection planes and in those with central left tumors. Its main advantages were the individualized inflow/outflow virtual analyses and the accurate determination of safely perfused/drained retained liver volumes.