Competing risk analysis on outcome after hepatic resection of hepatocellular carcinoma in cirrhotic patients

Alessandro Cucchetti, Carlo Sposito, Antonio Daniele Pinna, Davide Citterio, Matteo Cescon, Marco Bongini, Giorgio Ercolani, Christian Cotsoglou, Lorenzo Maroni, Vincenzo Mazzaferro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


To investigate death for liver failure and for tumor recurrence as competing events after hepatectomy of hepatocellular carcinoma. METHODS Data from 864 cirrhotic Child-Pugh class A consecutive patients, submitted to curative hepatectomy (1997-2013) at two tertiary referral hospitals, were used for competing-risk analysis through the Fine and Gray method, aimed at assessing in which circumstances the oncological benefit from tumour removal is greater than the risk of dying from hepatic decompensation. To accomplish this task, the average risk of these two competing events, over 5 years of follow-up, was calculated through the integral of each cumulative incidence function, and represented the main comparison parameter. RESULTS Within a median follow-up of 5.6 years, death was attributable to tumor recurrence in 63.5%, and to liver failure in 21.2% of cases. In the first 16 mo, the risk of dying due to liver failure exceeded that of dying due to tumor relapse. Tumor stage only affects death from recurrence; whereas hepatitis C infection, Model for End-stage Liver Disease score, extent of hepatectomy and portal hypertension influence death from liver failure (P < 0.05 in all cases). The combination of these clinical and tumoral features identifies those patients in whom the risk of dying from liver failure did not exceed the tumour-related mortality, representing optimal surgical candidates. It also identifies those clinical circumstances where the oncological benefit would be borderline or even where the surgery would be harmful. CONCLUSION Having knowledge of these competing events can be used to weigh the risks and benefits of hepatic resection in each clinical circumstance, separating optimal from non-optimal surgical candidates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1469-1476
Number of pages8
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Feb 28 2017


  • Competing Risk
  • Hepatic Resection
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • Liver failure
  • Survival
  • Tumour recurrence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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