Hepatic resection of metastasis from colorectal carcinoma. Morbidity, mortality, and pattern of recurrence

Ann Surg. 1989 Apr;209(4):428-34. doi: 10.1097/00000658-198904000-00007.


To identify the factors that determine the morbidity and mortality of liver resection of metastases from colorectal carcinoma and the variables that may influence the pattern of recurrence, the survival time and the disease-free rate, a univariate and-multivariate statistical analysis (30 variables using Student's t-test, Fischer's exact test, and chi square test) was performed. Intraoperative blood loss of greater than 3500 ml was found to be a significant risk factor to developing postoperative complications (p less than 0.05 by x2). After a mean follow-up of 25.8 months, 26 of the 35 patients studied (74%) had recurrent disease. In the univariate analysis, the following factors appear to be reliable predictors of early recurrence: poor degree of differentiation of the primary colorectal tumor, the presence of multiple liver metastases, the male gender, and the presence of tumor at the margin of the resected hepatic tissue (p less than 0.05). However, only the latter two factors appeared also to affect the survival time and the disease-free rates at 2 years after hepatic resection of metastases (p less than 0.05). In the multivariate analysis (factors tested simultaneously), presence of an advanced liver metastatic disease (Stage II or III) consistently indicated early recurrence and poor survival (p less than 0.005). The liver was the most common site of recurrence as the sole site of recurrence (54%) or in combination with other sites (88%)--followed by the lungs (31%) and the site of colonic resection (8%). Twenty-nine (83%), 14 (40%), and nine (26%) patients survived without recurrent disease at 1, 2, and 3 or more years, respectively, after hepatic resection of metastases. In six patients (17%), no significant palliation was noted, primarily because of early recurrence (less than 6 months). From this data, resection of hepatic metastases from colorectal cancer appears to offer a realistic therapeutic option to a selected group of patients, but only if the resective procedure can be performed with an operative mortality rate of less than 5%.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality
  • Adenocarcinoma / secondary*
  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Colorectal Neoplasms*
  • Female
  • Hepatectomy
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / mortality
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local*
  • Prognosis
  • Statistics as Topic