Hepatic resection for metastatic colorectal cancer

Am Surg. 1997 Jul;63(7):605-10.


One-hundred thirty-one primary hepatic resection for colorectal secondary tumors were performed at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center between 1975 and 1993. Perioperative mortality occurred in five patients (3.8%). Twenty-three patients had minor morbidities (18%); major morbidity occurred only in the five patients who died. Curative resections were performed in 107 patients. Overall actuarial survival at 2, 3, and 5 years was 62, 42, and 25 per cent, respectively. Patients with extrahepatic disease (5-year survival, 0% vs 27%; P = 0.049) and positive resection margins (0% vs 30%; P < 0.001) had significantly poorer survival. Among the curative resections, patients who had metachronous hepatic resections did significantly better than those who underwent synchronous colon and hepatic resections (35% vs 13%; P = 0.002). This survival benefit persisted when comparison was restricted to patients with synchronous metastases. Age, sex, race, number of lesions, site of colon primary resection, blood transfusion, disease-free interval, and extent of resection had no effect on survival. All patients who are acceptable surgical risks with potentially resectable metastatic colorectal cancer confined to the liver should undergo exploration. Assessment of resectability should include intraoperative ultrasound in all patients to maximize the probability of tumor clearance.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Female
  • Hepatectomy*
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Period
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Liver Neoplasms / mortality
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Ultrasonography