Right Hepatectomy in Patients over 70 Years of Age: An Analysis of Liver Function and Outcome

World Journal of Surgery, 05/11/2012

Age ≥70 years alone is not a contraindication to RH. However, major morbidity is particularly higher in the elderly with diabetes. This high–risk group should be closely monitored in the postoperative course. Liver function is not altered in the elderly patient after RH.

Methods

  • From January 2006 to December 2009, we prospectively collected data of 207 consecutive elective hepatectomies.
  • In patients who had RH, cardiac risk was assessed by a dedicated preoperative workup.
  • Liver failure (LF) was defined by the “fifty–fifty” criteria at postoperative day 5 (POD) and morbidity by the Clavien–Dindo classification.
  • Liver function tests (LFTs) and short–term outcome were retrospectively analyzed in patients over (elderly group, EG) and younger (young group, YG) than 70 years of age.

Results

  • Eighty–seven consecutive RH were performed during the study period. Indication for surgery included 90 % malignancy in 47 % of patients requiring preoperative chemotherapy.
  • ASA grade > 2 (44 vs. 16 %, p = 0.027), ischemic heart disease (17 vs. 5 %, p = 0.076), and preoperative cardiac failure (26 vs. 2 %, p < 0.001) were more frequent in the EG (n = 23) than in the YG (n = 64). Both groups were similar regarding rates of normal liver parenchyma, chemotherapy and intraoperative parameters.
  • The overall morbidity rates were comparable, but the serious complication (grades III–V) rate was relatively higher in the EG (39 vs. 25 %, p = 0.199), particularly in patients with diabetes mellitus (100 vs. 29 %, p = 0.04) and those who had additional nonhepatic surgery (67 vs. 35 %, p = 0.110) and transfusions (44 vs. 30 %, p = 0.523).
  • The 90–day mortality rate was similar (9 % in the EG vs. 3 % in the YG, p = 0.28) and was related to heart failure in the EG. LFTs showed a similar trend from POD 1 to 8, and patients ≥70 years of age had no liver failure.

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