Factors affecting the survival and long-term outcomes in patients undergoing hepatic resection for hepatocellular carcinoma: A narrative review


  • Mohammed Abdulla Banama Rashid Hospital, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Hepatocellular carcinoma, survival, recurrence, factors, narrative review


Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma is common cancer with high morbidity and mortality. While different treatment modalities such as hepatic resection or liver transplant are available, the risk of recurrence may still prevail. However, the possibility of recurrence and survival rate are affected by different prognostic factors that have been explored in various research studies, but the findings are not synthesized and reviewed collectively. Hence, this narrative review was carried out to review the existing literature on determinants of cancer recurrence and survival rate in patients diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma.

Methods: A literature review was carried out using databases such as PubMed and CINAHL. The main outcomes were cancer recurrence and survival rate among patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. All studies conducted between 1990 to 2022 were included, and after searching the articles, finally, 14 research studies were reviewed to extract the data on the author, study year, the country where the study was conducted, five or ten or overall survival rate, and key findings on factors associated with recurrence and survival.

Results: The findings revealed that survival rates varied in different populations ranging between 32% to 65.5%. Similarly, the recurrence rate also differed across countries ranging between 29% to 63%. The multivariate analyses in the respective studies revealed the most common predictors for poor survival or recurrence were the presence of symptoms and vascular invasion, type of treatment followed by patient’s age, use of alcohol, the large size of the tumor, poor liver function tests, elevated levels of alpha-fetoprotein, multiple tumors, and positive margins on the microscope. Patients who underwent surgical resection as opposed to other treatment modalities, such as radiofrequency and transarterial oily chemoembolization, had poor survival rate and increased risk of recurrence.

Conclusion: The review findings provide useful insights into the determinants of recurrence and survival among patients undergoing hepatic resection for hepatocellular carcinoma. The majority of the studies identified the type of treatment and presence of symptoms, and vascular invasion as the common prognostic factors in these patients. These findings may be useful in determining the treatment strategies and post-operative schedules to manage these patients effectively. In addition, these findings may also be helpful in counseling family members and making informed decisions for them.



How to Cite

Banama, M. (2022). Factors affecting the survival and long-term outcomes in patients undergoing hepatic resection for hepatocellular carcinoma: A narrative review. Journal of Health Informatics in Developing Countries, 16(1). Retrieved from https://jhidc.org/index.php/jhidc/article/view/372



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