Background: The Controlling Nutritional Status (CONUT) score is an objective tool widely used to assess nutritional status in patients with inflammatory disease, chronic heart failure, and chronic liver disease. The relationship between CONUT score and prognosis in patients who have undergone hepatic resection, however, has not been evaluated. Methods: Data were retrospectively collected for 357 consecutive patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who had undergone hepatic resection with curative intent between January 2004 and December 2015. The patients were assigned to two groups, those with preoperative CONUT scores ≤3 (low CONUT score) and >3 (high CONUT score), and their clinicopathological characteristics, surgical outcomes, and long-term survival were compared. Results: Of the 357 patients, 69 (19.3%) had high (>3) and 288 (80.7%) had low (≤3) preoperative CONUT scores. High CONUT score was significantly associated with HCV infection, low serum albumin and cholesterol concentrations, low lymphocyte count, shorter prothrombin time, Child–Pugh B and liver damage B scores, and blood transfusion. Multivariate analysis identified six factors prognostic of poor overall survival (older age, liver damage B score, high CONUT score, poor tumor differentiation, the presence of intrahepatic metastases, and blood transfusion) and five factors prognostic of reduced recurrence-free survival (older age, higher ICGR15, larger tumor size, presence of intrahepatic metastasis, and blood transfusion). Conclusions: In patients with HCC, preoperative CONUT scores are predictive of poorer overall survival, even after adjustments for other known predictors.
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