Background: The results of partial liver resection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in non-cirrhotic livers are not well known. Therefore a retrospective study was conducted. Methods: The medical records of 180 patients with HCC were reviewed. In 40 patients (22%), HCC occurred in a non-cirrhotic liver. A detailed analysis of these patients was performed. The diagnosis HCC was based on imaging and/or percutaneous ultrasound-guided biopsy. A biopsy of the remaining liver and peroperative findings documented the absence of cirrhosis. Results: Twenty-two patients underwent partial liver resection. There was no surgical mortality. The median tumour diameter in the operated patients was 10 cm. Survival rates for operated patients at 1 and 5 years were 96 and 68%, respectively. Significant factors reducing survival were portal vein thrombosis, positive lymph nodes, microscopic vascular invasion and tumour recurrence. Tumour size at the initial moment of diagnosis was not of predictive value. After surgery with curative intent disease-free interval at 1 and 5 years were 86 and 56%, respectively. Conclusion: In selected patients without cirrhosis, HCC can be treated successfully by surgical resection, independent of the tumour diameter, with a 5-year survival rate of 68%.
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