Recurrent tumor after resection of hepatic metastases from colorectal carcinoma: location and time of discovery as determined by CT.
OBJECTIVE: Despite studies showing increased survival rates for patients after surgical resection of hepatic metastases, recurrences occur in 75% of treated patients. The purpose of this study was to determine the location and time of discovery of recurrent tumor on CT scans after resection of hepatic metastases from colorectal carcinoma. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a 6-year period, 32 patients (16 men and 16 women) who had undergone partial hepatic resection for colorectal metastases had follow-up CT at our institution. A total of 125 CT examinations of the chest and abdomen were retrospectively reviewed for the presence and location of recurrent disease. Recurrence was either confirmed by biopsy (n = 12) or presumed on the basis of growth of new lesions (n = 17). RESULTS: With a mean follow-up of 22 months (range, 1-60 months), recurrence was found at 29 sites in 25 patients. Thirteen sites were hepatic, and 16 were extrahepatic. Three patients had both hepatic and pulmonary disease. Recurrence within the liver was away from surgical margins in 11 (85%) of 13 patients at 14 +/- 7 months and adjacent to a surgical margin in the remaining two patients (15%) at 17 +/- 1 months. Extrahepatic recurrences were discovered in the lung in 11 (69%) of 16 patients at 21 +/- 12 months; in an adrenal gland in two patients (13%) at 19 +/- 5 months; in lymph nodes of the porta hepatis in one patient (6%) at 11 months; at the primary colonic anastomosis in one patient (6%) at 3 months; and in a retroperitoneal lymph node in the remaining patient (6%) at 12 months. CONCLUSION: Surgery was effective in treating the preoperatively detected hepatic metastases. Only two of 25 patients had recurrence related to a hepatic surgical margin. Most recurrences occur more than 1 year after surgery, most often in lung or liver away from surgical margins, and they probably represent small metastases undetectable with current preoperative or intraoperative techniques.
Harned, RK; Chezmar, JL; Nelson, RC
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