Influence of clinically significant portal hypertension on surgical outcomes and survival following hepatectomy for hepatocellular carcinoma: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Sae-Byeol Choi, Hyun Jung Kim, Taejin Song, Hyeong Sik Ahn, Sang Yong Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

19 Citations (Scopus)


Surgical resection is not indicated in patients with portal hypertension in the current guideline of Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage. We report a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the impact of clinically significant portal hypertension on survival in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) following hepatectomy. Searched data in PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library were reviewed and 11 publications were included in the meta-analysis. The inclusion criteria of clinically significant portal hypertension were esophageal varices and/or thrombocytopenia with splenomegaly. Pooled data were extracted and computed into odds ratios (ORs) for clinical outcome and hazard ratios (HRs) for overall survival. The final pooled data were composed of 2,285 patients. There were 775 patients with clinically significant portal hypertension (PHT group) and 1,510 patients without clinically significant portal hypertension (non-PHT group). Pooled proportion of mortality was 6.1% (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.032-0.116) in PHT group and 2.8% (95% CI 0.014-0.054) in the non-PHT group. The pooled proportion of morbidity was 41.7% (95% CI 0.274-0.575) in PHT group and 34.7% (95% CI 0.243-0.467) in non-PHT group. Pooled data confirmed a significantly higher postoperative mortality in the PHT group, with OR 3.02 (P < 0.001). The PHT group also demonstrated significantly higher occurrence of postoperative complications (OR 1.39, P = 0.008), liver-related morbidity (OR 3.10, P < 0.00001), and liver failure (OR 2.14, P = 0.0005) compared to the non-PHT group. According to the overall survival, pooled analysis demonstrated that the PHT group demonstrated poorer survival than the non-PHT group (HR 1.48, P = 0.007). The analyses support significantly higher rates of postoperative mortality, complications, liver-related morbidity, liver failure, and poorer overall survival in PHT group compared with the non-PHT group. Surgical resection should be selected carefully with strict surgical strategy in patients with clinically significant portal hypertension when surgical resection is planned.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-647
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1



  • Hepatectomy
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Liver failure
  • Portal hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Hepatology

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