Objective: To evaluate the impact of liver ischemia from hepatic pedicle clamping (HPC) on long-term outcome after hepatectomy for colorectal liver metastases (CRLM).
Background: Liver resection offers the only chance of cure for patients with CRLM. Several clinical and pathologic factors have been reported as determinants of poor outcome after hepatectomy for CRLM. A controversial issue is that hepatic ischemia/reperfusion injury from HPC may adversely affect long-term outcome by accelerating the outgrowth of residual hepatic micrometastases.
Methods: Patients undergoing liver resection for CRLM in 2 tertiary referral centers, between 1992 and 2008, were included. Disease-free survival and specific liver-free survival were analyzed according to the use, type, and duration of HPC.
Results: Five hundred forty-three patients had primary hepatectomy for CRLM. Hepatic pedicle clamping was performed in 355 patients (65.4%), and intermittently applied in 254 patients (71.5%). Postoperative mortality and morbidity rates were 1.3% and 18.5%, respectively. Hepatic pedicle clamping had a highly significant impact in reducing the risk of blood transfusions and was not correlated with significantly higher postoperative morbidity. Liver recurrence rate was not significantly different according to the use, type, and duration of HPC, in patients resected after preoperative chemotherapy as well. On univariate analysis, HPC did not significantly affect overall and disease-free survival. These results were confirmed on the multivariate analysis where blood transfusions, primary tumor nodal involvement, and the size of CRLM of more than 5 cm prevailed as determinants of poor outcome.
Conclusions: This study confirms the safety and effectiveness of HPC and demonstrates that in the human situation, there is no evidence that HPC may adversely affect long-term outcome after hepatectomy for CRLM.