Chemotherapy within 30 days prior to liver resection does not increase postoperative morbidity or mortality

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date











Chemotherapy; Liver resection; Morbidity; Mortality


Background: Liver resections (LRs) are performed with increasing frequency for metastatic disease. To minimize the risk of postoperative complications, a period of 6 weeks between the last dose of chemotherapy and LR is typically recommended. The current study examines postoperative morbidity and mortality following LR in patients who received chemotherapy within 30 days prior to LR. Methods: The merged 2005-2007 National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) Participant Use File was queried for perioperative risk factors, laboratory values and postoperative occurrences or complications in patients who underwent LR. Patients were grouped according to their receipt or non-receipt of chemotherapy within 30 days prior to LR and major postoperative complications. Results: A total of 2331 patients underwent LR; 2147 did not receive chemotherapy within 30 days of resection (No Chemo group) and 184 received chemotherapy within 30 days prior to resection (Chemo group). The groups were similar with regard to preoperative co-morbidities and operative factors. The median NSQIP statistically computed morbidity probability was similar between the groups (No Chemo 0.32, Chemo 0.34; P = 0.07), whereas the median mortality probability was higher in the Chemo group (0.02) than the No Chemo group (0.014; P = 0.001). Thirty-day survival was similar between the two groups (No Chemo 97%, Chemo 98%; P = 0.44). Major complication rates did not differ between the groups (No Chemo 20%, Chemo 18%; P = 0.51). Factors associated with major complications in the Chemo group included: extent of resection; intraoperative transfusion; preoperative ascites, and preoperative haematocrit. Discussion: Major morbidity was not increased in Chemo patients. The strongest predictors of major postoperative complications in the Chemo group were extent of resection and intraoperative red cell transfusion. Although the NSQIP dataset does not include data about tumour type or chemotherapy regimen, these data suggest that LR may be safely performed within 30 days of chemotherapy, thereby minimizing the length of time during which patients do not receive systemic treatment. © 2009 International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association.

This document is currently not available here.