Liver resection for hepatolithiasis: A multicenter experience in Latin America

Published:November 29, 2022DOI:



      Hepatolithiasis is a prevalent disease in Asia but rare in Western countries. An increasing number of cases have been reported in Latin America. Liver resection has been proposed as a definitive treatment for complete stone clearance. The aim of this study was to evaluate the postoperative outcomes of liver resection for the treatment of hepatolithiasis in 2 large hepatobiliary reference centers from South America.


      We conducted a retrospective descriptive analysis from patients with hepatolithiasis who underwent liver resection between November 1986 and December 2018, in 2 Latin-American centers in Chile and Brazil.


      One hundred forty-nine patients underwent liver resection for hepatolithiasis (72 in Chile, 77 in Brazil). The mean age was 49 years and most patients were female (62.4%). Hepatolithiasis was localized in the left lobe (61.7%), right lobe (24.2%), and bilateral lobe (14.1%). Bilateral lithiasis was associated with higher incidence of preoperative and postoperative cholangitis (81% vs 46.9% and 28.6% vs 6.1%) and need for hepaticojejunostomy (52.4%). In total, 38.9% of patients underwent major hepatectomy and 14.1% were laparoscopic. The postoperative stone clearance was 100%. The 30-day morbidity and mortality rates were 30.9% and 0.7%, respectively. Cholangiocarcinoma was seen in 2 specimens, and no postoperative malignancy were seen after a median follow-up of 38 months. Fourteen patients (9.4%) had intrahepatic stones recurrence.


      Liver resection is an effective and definitive treatment for patients with hepatolithiasis. Bilateral hepatolithiasis was associated with perioperative cholangitis, the need for hepaticojejunostomy, and recurrent disease. Resection presents a high rate of biliary tree stone clearance and excellent long-term results, with low recurrence rates and low risk of malignancy.
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