To compare the clinical outcome of patients undergoing liver resection under portal triad clamping (PTC) versus hepatic vascular exclusion (HVE).
A systematic literature search was performed following the guidelines of the Cochrane collaboration. Randomized controlled trials (RCT) comparing PTC to any technique of HVE were eligible for inclusion. Two authors independently assessed methodological quality of included trials and extracted data on overall morbidity, mortality, cardiopulmonary and hepatic morbidity, intraoperative blood loss, transfusion rates, postoperative transaminase and bilirubin levels, prothrombin time, and hospital stay. Meta-analyses were performed using a random-effects model.
Of the 1,383 identified references, four RCTs were finally included. These trials compared PTC to selective hepatic vascular exclusion (SHVE), total hepatic vascular exclusion (THVE), and a modified technique of HVE (MTHVE), respectively. Meta-analyses revealed no significant difference in morbidity and mortality between PTC and techniques of HVE. Further analyses showed significantly reduced overall morbidity for the PTC compared to the THVE group. There was a significantly lower transfusion rate for HVE compared to PTC.
Hepatic vascular exclusion does not offer any benefit regarding outcome of patients undergoing hepatic resection compared to PTC alone. Further, well-designed RCTs evaluating adequate vascular control in major hepatectomy and in patients with underlying liver disease appear justified.