The utility of anatomical liver resection in hepatocellular carcinoma: Associated with improved outcomes or lack of supportive evidence?

Michelle Ju, Adam C. Yopp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Surgical resection of HCC remains one of the mainstays of curative therapies and is associated with five-year overall survival rates approaching 60%. Despite improved perioperative outcomes, locoregional recurrence within the first two years following hepatic resection is of significant concern with recurrence rates of up to 50%. The use of anatomical resection surgical approaches, whereby the portal venous blood flow is ligated proximal to the tumor bed, is postulated to reduce recurrence rates due to reduction of micrometastatic disease. The aim of this review is to characterize the definition of an anatomical resection (AR) during partial hepatectomy, discuss the theoretical advantages of AR during hepatic resection for HCC, and to present evidence of the impact of AR on outcome measures in patients with HCC. Based on current data, there is a lack of conclusive evidence to support the universal use of AR in cirrhotic patients with HCC. A randomized clinical trial is warranted to further clarify the debate between AR versus non-anatomical resection (NAR) for HCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1441
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019



  • Hepatic resection
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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