Objectives: There are few reports on the efficacy of hepatectomy for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with renal dysfunction (RD). This study aimed to clarify the validity of hepatectomy for treating HCC in RD patients, and to compare postoperative courses in RD and non-RD patients. Methods: The clinical features of 722 HCC patients who underwent curative hepatectomy between 1986 and 2009 were retrospectively reviewed. Seventeen patients (2.4%) with preoperative serum creatinine levels of >2.0 mg/dl were defined as the RD group, and, of these, seven who did not receive preoperative haemodialysis were defined as borderline patients. Clinicopathological characteristics and postoperative outcomes were compared between the RD group (n= 17) and the non-RD group (n= 705). The postoperative courses of borderline patients were reviewed in detail. Results: Overall survival (P= 0.177) and disease-free survival (P= 0.942) after hepatectomy did not differ significantly between the groups. Incidences of massive ascites (35.3% vs. 14.3%; P= 0.034) and pleural effusion (52.9% vs. 17.6%; P= 0.001), defined as massive effusion (ME), were significantly higher in the RD group than in the non-RD group. Hypoalbuminaemia (≤2.8 g/dl; P= 0.031), heavy blood loss (≥1000 ml; P= 0.012) and intraoperative blood transfusion (P= 0.007) were risk factors for ME. Among the borderline patients, serum creatinine values were not increased immediately after surgery and four patients underwent haemodialysis. Conclusions: Preoperative hypoalbuminaemia, heavy blood loss and blood transfusion are independent risk factors for ME in RD patients. Preoperative improvement of anaemia and reduction of blood loss by meticulous surgical techniques may prevent ME in RD patients who require hepatectomy for HCC.
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