Background/Aims: We investigated the treatment outcomes and prognostic factors of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with obstructive jaundice. Methods: Among 2,861 patients newly diagnosed with HCC between 2002 and 2011, a total of 63 patients who initially presented with obstructive jaundice were analyzed. Only four patients presented with resectable tumors and underwent curative resection. In the other patients who presented with unresectable tumors, 5, 8, 9, and 18 patients received transarterial chemoembolization (TACE), chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and combined treatment, respectively. Both the clinical and the treatment factors that affect overall survival (OS) were analyzed. Results: The median OS was 4 months, and the 1-year OS rate was 23%. Patients who received treatment for HCC had a significantly improved OS rate compared with the patients who received supportive care only (1-year OS, 32% vs 0%; p<0.01). Responders to treatment showed a better OS than nonresponders (1-year OS, 52% vs 0%; p<0.01). TACE and radiotherapy resulted in relatively good treatment responses of 64% and 67%, respectively. In multivariate analyses, treatment of HCC (p=0.02) and the normalization of serum bilirubin by biliary drainage (p=0.02) were significantly favorable prognostic factors that affected the OS. Conclusions: Unresectable HCC with obstructive jaundice has a poor prognosis. However, effective biliary drainage and treatment of HCC such as with TACE or radiotherapy improves survival.
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