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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Intraoperative determinants of unresectability for patients with colorectal hepatic metastases.

BACKGROUND: Intrahepatic and extrahepatic factors are utilized by the surgeon in the decision-making process for the performance of hepatic resection for patients with colorectal metastases. Accurate preoperative and intraoperative staging are mandatory to avoid unnecessary surgery. In this report the intraoperative determinants of hepatic unresectability were evaluated. METHODS: This was a retrospective review of medical records from January 1985 to March 1996 of 62 patients with colorectal hepatic metastases who at the time of exploratory laparotomy were deemed to have unresectable disease based on intrahepatic or extrahepatic factors. The stage of the primary tumor, disease free interval, preoperative carcinoembryonic antigen, computed tomography portography, intraoperative ultrasound, and assessment of intrahepatic and extrahepatic tumor extension were evaluated. RESULTS: Intraoperative determination of the extent of required hepatic resection, including trisegmentectomy (9 patients; 15%) and total hepatectomy (10 patients; 16%), accounted for the majority of unresectable patients. Patients with > 4 metastases (8 patients; 13%) and satellitosis (6 patients; 10%) accounted for 23% of unresectable patients. Four patients had extensive nonmalignant hepatic parenchymal disease precluding resection. Thorough abdominal exploration revealed extrahepatic disease in 13 of 62 patients (21%). Routine periportal/ celiac lymph node biopsies revealed metastases in an additional 12 patients (19%), 7 of whom (11%) had only periportal/ celiac lymph node metastases. CONCLUSIONS: A meticulous abdominal exploration prior to hepatic resection for patients with colorectal metastases is essential to identify those patients with extrahepatic disease. Periportal and celiac lymph nodes commonly are involved by tumor. Therefore, routine periportal/ celiac lymph node biopsies should be performed in the absence of other extrahepatic disease.[1]


  1. Intraoperative determinants of unresectability for patients with colorectal hepatic metastases. Gibbs, J.F., Weber, T.K., Rodriguez-Bigas, M.A., Driscoll, D.L., Petrelli, N.J. Cancer (1998) [Pubmed]
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