Effect of preoperative liver-directed therapy prior to hepatic resection

Published:October 20, 2022DOI:


      • This is the first large volume analysis to evaluate the effect of preoperative liver-directed therapy (LDT) prior to hepatic resection.
      • The main analysis found that preoperative LDT was in general associated with a significantly increased risk of hepatic failure, perioperative blood transfusions, and septic complications however on propensity score matching LDT had no significant effect on postoperative complications.



      Hepatobiliary malignancies present with advanced disease precluding upfront resection. Liver-directed therapy (LDT), particularly Y-90 radioembolization and transarterial chemoembolization (TACE), has become increasingly utilized to facilitate attempt at oncologic resection. However, the safety profile of preoperative LDT is limited.


      Retrospective review of the ACS NSQIP main and targeted hepatectomy registries for 2014–2016. Primary objective was evaluation of outcomes between preoperative LDT cases and those that received upfront resection.


      A total of 8923 cases met selection criteria. 192 cases (2.15%) received either Y-90 or TACE prior to hepatectomy. Multivariate analysis for all study patients revealed preoperative LDT significantly increased the risk of perioperative transfusion (OR 2.19, 95% CI 1.445–3.328, P < 0.0001), sepsis (OR 2.21, 95% CI 1.104–4.411, P = 0.022), and liver failure (OR 2.72, 95% CI 1.562–4.747, P < 0.0001). Subgroup analysis found for primary hepatobiliary malignancies LDT only increased the risk for liver failure. While for secondary hepatic tumors LDT significantly increased perioperative transfusion, sepsis, cardiac failure, renal failure, liver failure, and mortality. The complication profile also significantly increased with advanced T stage. Conversely, on propensity score matching preoperative LDT did not significantly increase perioperative complications.


      Preoperative LDT has the potential to convert inoperable hepatic tumors into resectable disease but there is a general increased risk for significant postoperative complications, most notable liver failure. However, on controlled analysis preoperative LDT does not increase perioperative complications and should not be considered a contraindication to resection.
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