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Repeat hepatectomy versus microwave ablation for solitary and small (≤3 cm) recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma with early or late recurrence: A propensity score matched study

Published:December 26, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejso.2022.12.016

      Abstract

      Background

      Repeat hepatectomy (RH) and microwave ablation (MWA) are frequently used procedures for the treatment of recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after curative resection. This study aimed to compare the long-term outcomes of RH and MWA for solitary and small HCC with early or late recurrence.

      Method

      This retrospective study enrolled patients who underwent RH or MWA for solitary and small (≤3 cm) recurrent HCC at Tongji hospital between April 2006 and December 2020. Propensity score matching (PSM) was further employed to analyze the prognosis of different treatment methods.

      Results

      A total of 256 patients were analyzed, of whom 94 and 162 underwent RH and MWA, respectively. The overall treatment-related complication rate was higher in the RH group. Both recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) rates of RH were significantly better than those of MWA. Multivariate analysis showed that MWA, early recurrence (within 24 months after initial resection), cirrhosis, and AFP >400 ng/ml were independent risk factors for poor prognoses of recurrent HCC. The stratified analysis demonstrated that MWA and RH had similar long-term outcomes in patients with early recurrence. Nevertheless, MWA had worse RFS and OS than RH in patients with late recurrence. The same results were obtained in the PSM analysis.

      Conclusion

      The long-term outcomes of HCC patients with late recurrence were significantly better than those with early recurrence. RH should be the first choice for solitary small recurrent HCC patients with late recurrence, while MWA should be selected for those with early recurrence.

      Keywords

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