Strategy for hepatoblastoma with major vascular involvement: A guide for surgical decision-making

Published:December 03, 2022DOI:



      Surgical management of tumor thrombus extending to the major vascular system for children with hepatoblastoma is challenging and insufficiently discussed.


      We conducted a retrospective review of hepatoblastoma with tumor thrombus extending to the major vascular system (inferior vena cava, 3 hepatic veins, and portal vein trunk) treated at our center between May 2010 and June 2021. We describe our preoperative assessment, surgical strategies, and outcomes.


      We identified 9 patients (median age at the diagnosis: 3.4 years). All patients received chemotherapy before liver surgery. At the time of the diagnosis, tumor thrombus extended to the portal vein trunk (n = 6), inferior vena cava (n = 3), and 3 hepatic veins (n = 2). Among the 9 patients, 4 underwent liver resection. Liver transplantation was performed in 5 patients. The inferior vena cava wall was circumferentially resected for tumor removal in 1 patient and partially resected in 2 patients. One patient underwent liver transplantation using veno-venous bypass. Patients with tumor thrombus extending to the portal vein trunk were more likely to be managed by liver transplantation in comparison to those with tumor thrombus spreading to the inferior vena cava. The median follow-up period was 5.5 years. One patient underwent transhepatic balloon dilatation for biliary stricture after liver resection. Tumor recurrence was seen in 3 patients (33.3%; lung, n = 2; lymph node and liver, n = 1). No patients died during the follow-up period.


      Surgical intervention for pediatric hepatoblastoma with tumor thrombus extending into the major vascular system is safe, feasible, and achieves excellent outcomes.
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