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Oncological Superiority of Hilar En Bloc Resection for the Treatment of Hilar Cholangiocarcinoma

Peter Neuhaus MD, Armin Thelen MD, Sven Jonas MD, Gero Puhl MD, Timm Denecke MD, Wilfried Veltzke-Schlieker MD, Daniel Seehofer MD
Hepatobiliary Tumors
Volume 19, Issue 5 / May , 2012



Long-term results after liver resection for hilar cholangiocarcinoma are still not satisfactory. Previously, we described a survival advantage of patients who undergo combined right trisectionectomy and portal vein resection, a procedure termed “hilar en bloc resection.” The present study was conducted to analyze its oncological effectiveness compared to conventional hepatectomy.


During hilar en bloc resection, the extrahepatic bile ducts were resected en bloc with the portal vein bifurcation, the right hepatic artery, and liver segments 1 and 4 to 8. With this “no-touch” technique, preparation of the hilar vessels in the vicinity of the tumor was avoided. The long-term outcome of 50 consecutive patients who underwent curative (R0) hilar en bloc resection between 1990 and 2004 was compared to that of 50 consecutive patients who received curative conventional major hepatectomy for hilar cholangiocarcinoma (perioperative deaths excluded).


The 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates after hilar en bloc resection were 87%, 70%, and 58%, respectively, which was significantly higher than after conventional major hepatectomy. In the latter group, 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates were 79%, 40%, and 29%, respectively (P = 0.021). Tumor characteristics were comparable in both groups. A high number of pT3 and pT4 tumors and patients with positive regional lymph nodes were present in both groups. Multivariate analysis identified hilar en bloc resection as an independent prognostic factor for long-term survival (P = 0.036).


In patients with central bile duct carcinomas, hilar en bloc resection is oncologically superior to conventional major hepatectomy, providing a chance of long-term survival even in advanced tumors.

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