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28.01.2020 | Ausgabe 12/2020

Surgical Endoscopy 12/2020

Minimally invasive surgery versus radiofrequency ablation for single subcapsular hepatocellular carcinoma ≤ 2 cm with compensated liver cirrhosis

Surgical Endoscopy > Ausgabe 12/2020
Chih-Hao Lin, Cheng-Maw Ho, Chih-Horng Wu, Po-Chin Liang, Yao-Ming Wu, Rey-Heng Hu, Po-Huang Lee, Ming-Chih Ho
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There is currently no consensus regarding the relative applicability of minimally invasive treatment, including radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and minimally invasive surgery (MIS) in patients with a single small peripheral hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and compensated cirrhosis. This study investigated the clinical outcomes of MIS and RFA for single subcapsular HCC ≤ 2 cm in patients with compensated cirrhosis.


In this retrospective study, we enrolled 75 patients who had a single subcapsular HCC ≤ 2 cm along with Child–Pugh class A cirrhosis and a preoperative platelet count ≥ 100 k/μl. These patients underwent RFA (n = 39) or MIS (n = 36) between 2010 and 2016. Clinical outcomes including disease-free survival (DFS), survival without recurrence beyond the Milan criteria (RBM), and overall survival (OS) were compared.


The 7-year DFS rates in the MIS and RFA groups were 86.1% and 35.9% (p < 0.001), respectively, the 7-year RBM rates were 88.9% and 66.7% (p = 0.014), respectively, and the 7-year OS rates were 97.2% and 82.1% (p = 0.008), respectively. RFA was associated with more ipsilateral lobe recurrence (20% vs. 83.4%, p = 0.004), and 40% were in direct contact with the ablation penumbra. A Cox proportional hazard analysis identified RFA as an independent predictor of mortality (adjusted hazard ratio, 9.625, p = 0.038). No major complications occurred in either group. RFA patients had a shorter hospital stay (median of 2 vs. 6 days, p < 0.001) and operation time (median of 23.5 vs. 216 min, p = 0.001).


MIS was associated with a better 7-year OS, RBM, and DFS among patients with single subcapsular HCC ≤ 2 cm, Child–Pugh A liver function, and no clinically significant portal hypertension when compared to those who underwent percutaneous RFA.

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