Integration of a dedicated management protocol in the care of pediatric liver cancer: From specialized providers to complication reduction.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Up to a third of children undergoing partial hepatectomy for primary hepatic malignancies experience at least one perioperative complication, with a presumed deleterious effect on both short- and long-term outcomes. We implemented a multidisciplinary treatment protocol in the management of these patients in order to improve complication rates following partial hepatectomy.


A retrospective chart review was completed for all patients < 18 years of age who underwent liver resection at our institution between 2002 and 2019 for primary hepatic cancer. Demographic, intraoperative, postoperative, pathologic, and outcome data were analyzed for perioperative complications using the CLASSIC and Clavien-Dindo (CD) scales, event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS).


A total of 73 patients were included in the analysis with 33 prior-to and 40 after dedicated provider protocol implementation. Perioperative complication rates decreased from 52% to 20% (p = 0.005) with major complications going from 18% to 10% (p = 0.31). On multivariable logistic regression, protocol implementation was associated with a reduction in any (OR 0.29 [95% CI 0.09 - 0.89]) but not major complications. On multivariate cox models, post protocol implementation was associated with improved event free survival (EFS) (HR 0.19 (0.036 - 0.195). Among patients with a diagnosis of hepatoblastoma (n = 62), the occurrence of a major perioperative complication was associated with a worse EFS (HR=5.45, p = 0.03) on multivariate analysis, however this did not translate into an impact on overall survival.


Our results demonstrate that, for children with primary liver malignancies, a dedication of patients to high-volume surgeons can improve rates of complications of liver resections and may improve the oncological outcome of hepatoblastoma.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Whitlock, RS; Portuondo, JI; Commander, SJ; Ha, T-A; Zhu, H; Goss, JA; Kukreja, KU; Leung, DH; Terrada, DL; Masand, PM; Nguyen, HN; Nuchtern, JG; Wesson, DE; Heczey, AA; Vasudevan, SA

Published Date

  • August 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 57 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 1544 - 1553

PubMed ID

  • 34366130

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1531-5037

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-3468

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2021.07.012


  • eng