OBJECTIVE: We describe a new ultrasound guided conservative procedure for patients with liver tumors invading the middle hepatic vein (MHV) at its caval confluence. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Morbidity and mortality for major hepatectomies are not negligible. However, when tumors invade the MHV at the caval confluence, major surgery is usually recommended. METHODS: Patients included in this study were those with tumors invading the MHV at its hepato-caval confluence (within 4 cm). Minimum follow-up was established at 6-months from surgery. Among 284 consecutive hepatectomies, 17 (6%) met the inclusion criteria. Partial sparing of segments 4, 5, and 8 was established intraoperatively, based on color-Doppler IOUS findings (NCT00600522 on ClinicalTrials.gov). RESULTS: In all the 17 patients at least one of the color-Doppler IOUS criteria was disclosed, and limited resections of just segments 4sup and 8 were always feasible. The MHV tract involved was always resected. Seven patients had single tumor removed and 10 multiple: total number of resected tumors was 58 (median: 2; range: 1-18).There were no postoperative mortality and major morbidity. Overall morbidity occurred in 3 (18%) patients. Median blood loss was 250 (range: 50-1000). One patient (6%) received blood transfusion. No local recurrences were observed (median follow-up: 26 months). CONCLUSIONS: IOUS assistance systematically allows conservative resection of liver tumor invading the MHV at caval confluence. This drastically limits the need for larger resections, and further broadens the role of IOUS in optimizing the surgical strategy.
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