PURPOSE: There is still some debate on surgical procedures for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients with bile duct tumor thrombi (BDTT, Ueda type 3 or 4). What is adequate extent of liver resection for curative treatment? Is extrahepatic bile duct resection mandatory for cure? The aim of this study is to answer these questions. METHODS: Between February 1994 and December 2012, 877 consecutive HCC patients underwent hepatic resection at Ajou University Hospital. Thirty HCC patients (3.4%) with BDTT (Ueda type 3 or 4) were retrospective reviewed in this study. RESULTS: In total, 20 patients enrolled in this study were divided into 2 groups: patients who underwent hemihepatectomy with extrahepatic bile duct resection (group 1, n = 10) and with only removal of BDTT (group 2, n = 10). The 1-, 3- and 5-year overall survival rates were 75.0%, 50.0%, and 27.8%, respectively. The 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates of group 1 were 100.0%, 80.0%, and 45.7%, and those of group 2 were 50.0%, 20.0%, and 10.0%, respectively (P = 0.014). The 1-, 3-, and 5-year recurrences free survival rates of group 1 were 90.0%, 70.0%, and 42.0%, and those of group 2 were 36.0%, 36.0%, and 0%, respectively (P = 0.014). Thrombectomy and infiltrative growth type (Ig) were found as independent prognostic factors for recurrence free survival by multivariate analysis. Thrombectomy, Ig, and high indocyanine green retention rate at 15 minutes were found as independent prognostic factors for overall survival by multivariate analysis. CONCLUSION: We suggest that the appropriate surgical procedure for icteric HCC patients should be comprised of ipsilateral hemihepatectomy with caudate lobectomy and extrahepatic bile duct resection.
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