Does an extreme age (≥80 years) affect outcomes in patients after liver cancer surgery? A meta-analysis.

Research paper by Fangqiang F Wei

Indexed on: 10 Jun '18Published on: 10 Jun '18Published in: ANZ Journal of Surgery


Increasing global life expectancy has resulted in a greater demand for cancer surgery in aged patients. However, whether extreme age causes poorer clinical outcomes remains unclear. This meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the impact of extreme age (≥80 years) on outcomes in patients after liver cancer surgery. A systematic search was performed to enrol relevant studies. Data were analysed using fixed-effects or random-effects models. Eight retrospective studies involving 253 participants older than 80 years were included. Compared with younger patients, patients of extreme age (≥80 years) who had undergone curative liver cancer surgery experienced less operating time and blood loss (both P < 0.0001); a larger size (weighted mean difference = 0.48 cm, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.08-0.87 cm; P = 0.02) and more advanced stage of hepatocellular carcinoma (risk ratio (RR) = 1.20, 95% CI 1.04-1.39; P = 0.01); a higher overall morbidity (RR = 1.24, 95% CI 1.05-1.47; P = 0.01); and more post-operative ileus (POI) (RR = 3.45, 95% CI 1.03-11.56; P = 0.04), delirium (RR = 3.04, 95% CI 1.36-6.78; P = 0.007) and cardiovascular events (RR = 6.17, 95% CI 2.79-13.60; P < 0.00001). No significant difference was noted in overall (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.15, 95% CI 0.87-1.53; P = 0.32) or disease-free (HR = 0.96, 95% CI 0.75-1.24; P = 0.77) survival. Although an extreme age may not be a contraindication for undertaking liver cancer surgery, it may cause more morbidity. Perioperative intervention should be considered for prevention and early treatment of POI, delirium and cardiovascular events. © 2018 Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

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