This prospective intention-to-treat validation study evaluated the liver tunnel (LT) technique for patients having ≥1 deep centrally located liver tumor, with or without middle hepatic vein (MHV) invasion.
Conservative surgery has been proposed for patients with deep liver tumors having complex relationships. LT is one such novel technique.
Eligible patients were prospectively enrolled for LT. LT relies on tumor-vessel detachment, and the presence of communicating veins if MHV resection is necessary.
Twenty consecutive patients met the inclusion criteria: 17 had colorectal liver metastases, 1 had hepatocellular carcinoma, 1 had mass-forming cholangiocarcinoma, and 1 had mixed hepatocellular carcinoma—mass-forming cholangiocarcinoma. Nineteen patients underwent LT. The MHV was resected in 6 patients, always sparing segments 4i and 5. Overall, 180 lesions were removed (median 7; range 1–37): 79 lesions were included in the LT specimen (median 3; range 1–13). There was no in-hospital 90-day mortality. Overall morbidity occurred in 10 (50%) patients: major in 2 (10%). All complications were managed conservatively. After a median 15-month follow-up (range 6–48), 2 instances of cut-edge local recurrences were observed.
This study shows that LT is technically feasible and safe. Further studies are needed for standardizing its use.
Division of Hepatobiliary & General Surgery, Department of Surgery, Humanitas Research Hospital, Humanitas University, Rozzano, Milan, Italy.
Reprints: Guido Torzilli, MD, PhD, FACS, Professor of Surgery, Director Department of Surgery & Division of Hepatobiliary & General Surgery, Humanitas University, Humanitas Research Hospital-IRCCS, Via A. Manzoni, 56, 20089, Rozzano, Milan, Italy. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The authors declare no conflict of interests.
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