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Laparoscopic hepatectomy versus radiofrequency ablation for hepatocellular carcinoma: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Authors Li X, Wu YS, Chen D, Lin H

Received 4 October 2018

Accepted for publication 18 April 2019

Published 24 June 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 5711—5724


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Ahmet Emre Eskazan

Xiaocheng Li,1 Yu-Shen Wu,2 Duke Chen,3 Huapeng Lin4

1Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Hunan University of Medicine, Huaihua, Hunan, People’s Republic of China; 2Chongqing Key Laboratory of Molecular Oncology and Epigenetics, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People’s Republic of China; 4Department of Intensive Care Unit, Affiliated Hangzhou First People’s Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, People’s Republic of China

Aim: To compare the effectiveness of laparoscopic hepatectomy (LH) with that of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Methods: We conducted a literature search without a language restriction to identify relevant available articles that had been published with the EMBASE and PubMed databases and the Cochrane Library. Studies comparing the outcomes of LH versus RFA for HCC were eligible for inclusion.
Results: A total of 10 studies with 1570 patients was included in this meta-analysis. The pooled results revealed that LH was superior to RFA in terms of the 5-year overall survival rate (OR=0.53, 95% CI=0.40, 0.69, p<0.001). In the subgroup analysis of small HCCs, there was still a significantly better 5-year overall survival rate in the LH group compared with the RFA group (OR=0.47, 95% CI=0.33, 0.66, p<0.001). Additionally, the LH group had better 1- and 3-year disease-free survival rate and a lower local recurrence rate, compared with the RFA group. However, the complication rate was higher in the LH group than the RFA group (OR=0.64, 95% CI=0.46, 0.89, p=0.008).
Conclusion: Patients who underwent LH had a better long-term prognosis and a lower recurrence rate than those who received RFA. However, we did not obtain conclusive evidence for the superiority of LH over RFA for the treatment of HCCs due to the inclusion of retrospective studies in the present meta-analysis, and well-designed RCTs are needed.

Keywords: laparoscopic hepatectomy, radiofrequency ablation, hepatocellular carcinoma, overall survival, disease-free survival

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