We investigated perioperative complications of hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy preceding major hepatectomy for multiple bilobar colorectal cancer metastases. No consensus exists concerning operative feasibility or perioperative course in patients undergoing major liver resection with neoadjuvant chemotherapy—partly because such chemotherapy is considered hepatotoxic, increasing the risk of postoperative liver failure.
Clinicopathologic data were available for 41 consecutive patients with 5 or more bilobar liver metastases from colorectal cancer who underwent major liver resection with or without prior hepatic arterial chemotherapy. Data concerning operative feasibility, postoperative liver function, complication rates, and histologic findings in the non-neoplastic liver were analyzed retrospectively.
Prehepatectomy and postoperative day 1 platelet counts were lower (P < .01 and P < .05), alkaline phosphatase on postoperative day 3 was higher (P < .01), and prothrombin time on day 1 was more prolonged (P < .01) in the chemotherapy group. No significant difference was seen between groups in intraoperative data, morbidity, or duration of hospitalization. Histologic examination of adjacent non-neoplastic liver confirmed mild to severe fatty degeneration in 91% of the patients undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy, compared with 53% in those without neoadjuvant chemotherapy (P = .023). Although the number of neoplasms in chemotherapy patients was greater than that of the other group, overall and disease-free survival rates were comparable between groups.
Despite mild postoperative liver dysfunction, pre-resection hepatic arterial chemotherapy did not increase morbidity.
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Accepted: September 18, 2005
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