Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 374–380 | Cite as

The Significance and Clinical Factors Associated With a Subcentimeter Resection of Colorectal Liver Metastases

  • C.J. Wray
  • A.M. Lowy
  • J.B. Mathews
  • S. Park
  • K.A. Choe
  • D.W. Hanto
  • L.E. James
  • D.A. Soldano
  • S.A. Ahmad



Prognosis after resection of colorectal liver metastases is influenced by various factors. A positive margin of resection (MOR) has been shown to adversely influence prognosis. Although a 1-cm MOR has been accepted as adequate, the data to support this guideline are sparse.


Our hepatobiliary database was queried for patients who underwent liver resection for colorectal metastases between January 1992 and July 2003. All patients were divided into three groups: MOR <.5 cm (group A), .5 to 1 cm (group B), and >1 cm (group C). Operative reports from each hepatic resection were analyzed to determine local factors that may have contributed to a subcentimeter MOR.


A total of 112 patients (67 men and 45 women) underwent liver resection for colorectal metastases with negative margins. Fifty-three patients were in group A, 26 patients were in group B, and 33 patients were in group C. Group C demonstrated decreased local recurrence (LR; P = .003), distant recurrence (DR; P = .008), and disease-free recurrence (P = .002). A significant difference in the overall time to LR (P = .003), time to DR (P = .003), and disease-free survival (P = .002) was also demonstrated. Factors associated with a subcentimeter MOR included nonanatomical resection (P = .043), proximity to a major vessel (P = .003), and central location (P = .002).


A <1-cm resection for colorectal liver metastases is associated with increased LR and DR, as well as decreased disease-free survival. When a nonanatomical resection is performed, a MOR >1 cm should be attempted, because an adequate margin is often underestimated. Considerations should be made for extended resections when tumors are centrally located or near major vessels.


Colon cancer Hepatic metastases Resection margin Liver surgery 


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Copyright information

© The Society of Surgical Oncology, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • C.J. Wray
    • 1
  • A.M. Lowy
    • 1
  • J.B. Mathews
    • 1
  • S. Park
    • 1
  • K.A. Choe
    • 2
  • D.W. Hanto
    • 3
  • L.E. James
    • 1
  • D.A. Soldano
    • 1
  • S.A. Ahmad
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical OncologyUniversity of Cincinnati Medical CenterCincinnati
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyUniversity of Cincinnati Medical CenterCincinnati
  3. 3.Department of Surgery, Division of Transplantation Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical SchoolBoston

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