Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) originating in the caudate lobe is rare, and the treatment for this type of carcinoma is difficult because of its unique anatomic location. Methods: This retrospective study assessed the surgical outcome of patients with caudate lobe HCC. There were 20 cases of HCC originating in the caudate lobe among 435 patients with primary HCC who underwent hepatic resection in our department from 1990 to 2002. The caudate tumors were located in the Spiegel lobe in 3 patients, the paracaval portion in 15 patients, and the caudate process in 2 patients. Surgical procedures consisted of limited resection of the caudate lobe in 6 patients and extended caudate lobectomy in 14 patients. Recurrence was recognized in 12 patients, including 8 patients with multiple intrahepatic recurrences, 1 with peritoneal dissemination, and 1 with lymph node metastasis. Results: There was no significant difference in postoperative survival rate between patients who underwent limited resection of the caudate lobe and those who underwent extended caudate lobectomy. Compared with 415 patients with HCC originating in other locations, the 20 patients with caudate lobe HCC showed significantly more intraoperative blood loss (P < .05), longer operation time (P < .0001), and more postoperative complications (P < .005). Intrahepatic recurrence was more frequent in the caudate lobe HCC compared with HCC originating in other locations (40% vs 17.6%; P < .05). There was a significantly poor survival rate in the postoperative patients with caudate HCC (25.9% vs 54.1% for five-year survival; P = .01). Intrahepatic multiple recurrences were frequently recognized in the patients with caudate lobe HCC, indicating no significance for extended caudate lobectomy. Conclusions: Because of the relatively poor prognosis in patients with caudate lobe HCC, adjuvant therapy combined with surgical operation should be considered.
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