The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate the influence of age on the outcome of liver resection. A total of 129 consecutive liver resections were divided into two groups: ≥ 70 years old [old group (O-group)] and <70 years old [young group (Y-group)]. The two groups were first compared for the variables potentially affecting the postoperative course, including diagnosis, concomitant diseases, previous abdominal surgery, type of operation (major or minor resection), associated procedures, presence and length of portal clamping, intraoperative blood losses and transfusions, and length of operation. The outcome of liver resections was evaluated in terms of postoperative mortality, morbidity, transfusions, and length of hospitalization. The Y-group included 97 resections in 95 patients, aged 55.9 ± 10.5 years (mean ± SD; range: 23-69 years), and the O-group included 32 resections in 32 patients, aged 73.7 ± 3.2 years (mean ± SD; range: 70-82 years. The O-group included more hepatocellular carcinomas (46.9% versus 20.6%, p = 0.002) and cardiovascular diseases (15.2% versus 1.0%, p = 0.004). The two groups were comparable (p > 0.05) when evaluated for all other listed variables. As regards the postoperative outcome, the length of hospitalization was similar (median, range: 9.5 days, 5-60 days in the Y-group and 9 days, 5-48 days in the O-group) and the need for postoperative transfusions were not statistically different. Mortality included one case among young patients, while no deaths were recorded among elderly patients. Postoperative morbidity was higher in Y-group than in O-group (21.6% versus 9.4%, p = 0.2). In conclusion, the age factor does not negatively affect the outcome of liver resections.
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