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Clinical Significance of Left Trisectionectomy for Perihilar Cholangiocarcinoma: An Appraisal and Comparison With Left Hepatectomy

Natsume, Seiji MD*; Ebata, Tomoki MD*; Yokoyama, Yukihiro MD*; Igami, Tsuyoshi MD*; Sugawara, Gen MD*; Shimoyama, Yoshie MD; Nagino, Masato MD*

doi: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e31824a8d82
Original Articles

Objective: To review our experiences with left-sided hepatectomy for perihilar cholangiocarcinoma, to compare left hepatectomy with left trisectionectomy, and to evaluate the clinical significance of left trisectionectomy from the viewpoint of surgical oncology.

Background: Only 4 large case series have been reported on left trisectionectomy, with only a few patients diagnosed with perihilar cholangiocarcinoma. Therefore, the oncologic advantage of left trisectionectomy compared with left hepatectomy for perihilar cholangiocarcinoma is still unclear.

Methods: This study involved 201 patients who underwent left-sided hepatectomy for perihilar cholangiocarcinoma (86 trisectionectomies and 115 hepatectomies). Surgical outcome and survival were compared between the 2 types of hepatectomy. The length of the resected right posterior bile duct was also measured.

Results: Patients who underwent trisectionectomy had more advanced tumors, thus requiring combined vascular and/or other organ resection. Operative time and blood loss were significantly greater in trisectionectomy than in hepatectomy; therefore, overall morbidity was significantly higher in the former (59.3% vs 33.0%, P < 0.001). Mortality was similar (1.2% vs 0.9%) in both techniques. The length of the resected supraportal right posterior bile duct was significantly longer in trisectionectomy than in hepatectomy (20.7 ± 6.4 vs 13.6 ± 5.2 mm, P < 0.001). However, there was no difference in length of the infraportal type right posterior bile duct. The percentage of negative radial and distal common bile duct margins was similar, but the percentage of negative right posterior bile duct margins was significantly higher in trisectionectomy than in hepatectomy (97.7% vs 89.6%, P = 0.027). Overall, R0 resection was achieved in 84.9% of patients with trisectionectomy and in 70.4% of patients with hepatectomy (P = 0.019). Survival rates were similar between patients with trisectionectomy and those with hepatectomy (36.8% vs 34.0% at 5-year), despite the fact that the former had more advanced disease.

Conclusions: Left trisectionectomy for perihilar cholangiocarcinoma, although technically demanding, can be performed with similar mortality rates as left hepatectomy. From an oncologic viewpoint, this operation can increase the number of negative proximal ductal margins, leading to a high proportion of R0 resection, and, in turn, to improved survival rates of patients with advanced left-sided perihilar cholangiocarcinoma.

The clinical significance of left trisectionectomy for perihilar cholangiocarcinoma was evaluated and compared with left hepatectomy. Although technically demanding, left trisectionectomy can be performed with low mortality rates and can increase the probability of negative proximal ductal margins, thus leading to a high proportion of R0 resections compared with left hepatectomy.

*Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery

Department of Pathology and Clinical Laboratories; Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan.

Reprints: Masato Nagino, MD, PhD,Department of Surgery, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, 65 Tsurumai-cho, Showa-ku, Nagoya 466-8550, Japan., E-mail:

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.