Improved survival after resection of colorectal liver metastases

Ann Surg Oncol. 1995 Nov;2(6):537-41. doi: 10.1007/BF02307088.


Background: The goal of this study was to determine if staging with intraoperative ultrasound (IOUS), assessment of porta hepatis lymph nodes, and evaluation of resection margins can improve selection of patients likely to benefit from resection of colorectal liver metastases.

Methods: A retrospective evaluation was performed on patients undergoing celiotomy with intent to resect colorectal liver metastases. Patients were considered unresectable if extrahepatic disease was identified by peritoneal exploration or if IOUS demonstrated greater than four lesions or the inability to achieve negative margins. Tumor-negative margins were confirmed by pathologic evaluation. Actuarial 5-year survival was calculated using the method of Kaplan and Meier.

Results: Median follow-up is 25 months. Of the 151 patients undergoing operative exploration, 107 (71.0%) underwent liver resection (all margins tumor negative). Three operative deaths occurred in this group (2.8%). The disease of 30 patients (19.8%) was considered unresectable due to extrahepatic involvement, and that of 14 patients (9.2%) was demonstrated by IOUS to be unresectable. Five-year actuarial survival was 44% for the resected group and 0% for the unresectable patients (p < 0.0001).

Conclusions: IOUS, portal node assessment, and pathologic margin evaluation improves the selection of patients likely to benefit from resection of colorectal liver metastases.

MeSH terms

  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Hepatectomy
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome