Histologic severity of liver cirrhosis: A key factor affecting surgical outcomes of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with portal hypertension

Ke shuai Dong, Bin yong Liang, Zun yi Zhang, Er lei Zhang, Guang Yang, Shuli Xia, Xiao ping Chen, Zhi yong Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Portal hypertension (PH), which is closely associated with the severity of liver cirrhosis, has been suggested as a contraindication of liver resection for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We aimed to explore the role of a potential player, histologic severity of liver cirrhosis, in affecting surgical outcomes of the patients with both HCC and PH. Methods: A total of 374 HCC patients with PH underwent resection for HCC were retrospectively reviewed. By using the Laennec staging system, the patients were divided into two groups: the mild-moderate cirrhosis (MMC) group and the severe cirrhosis (SC) group. Propensity score matching (PSM) was conducted at a 1:1 ratio between the two groups, and 89 patients were matched for each group. Short-term and long-term outcomes were compared between two groups before and after PSM. Results: The overall morbidity and 30-days mortality were significantly higher in the SC group than the MCC group (52.9% vs. 30.1%, P < 0.001 and 6.9% vs. 0.7%, P = 0.002). Severe cirrhosis was identified as an independent predictor of postoperative liver-related complications. Patients with MMC exhibited better 5-year overall survival (39.9% vs. 16.9%, P < 0.001) and disease-free survival (10.5% vs. 4.4%, P < 0.001) than those with SC. Multivariate analysis indicated that severe cirrhosis was significantly associated with lower disease-free survival and overall survival. These results were further confirmed in the PSM cohort. Conclusions: Histologic severity of liver cirrhosis determines the surgical outcomes of patients with both HCC and PH, and PH is not an absolute contraindication of liver resection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAsian Journal of Surgery
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019



  • Laennec system
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Prognosis
  • Resection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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