Purpose: The risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) recurrence must be considered ahead of surgery. This study was undertaken to identify pre-operative risk factors for early intrahepatic recurrence of HCC after curative resection in a large-scale. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the preoperative three-phase multi-detector CT (MDCT) and laboratory data for 240 HCC patients who underwent curative resection; tumor size, number, gross shape, capsule integrity, distinctiveness of tumor margin, portal vein thrombosis (PVT), alpha-fetoprotein level (AFP), and protein induced by vitamin K absence-II (PIVKA-II) levels were assessed. Surgical pathology was reviewed; tumor differentiation, capsule, necrosis, and micro-vessel invasion were recorded. Results: HCC recurred in 61 patients within six months (early recurrence group), but not in 179 patients (control group). In univariate analysis, large tumor size (p = 0.018), shape (p = 0.028), poor capsule integrity (p = 0.046), elevated AFP (p =0.015), and PIVKA-II (p = 0.008) were significant preoperative risk factors. Among the pathologic features, PVT (p = 0.023), Glisson's capsule penetration (p = 0.033), microvascular invasion (p < 0.001), and poor differentiation (p = 0.001) showed statistical significance. In multivariate analysis, only the histopathologic parameters of microvascular invasion and poor differentiation achieved statistical significance. Conclusion: Preoperative CT and laboratory parameters showed limited value, while the presence of microscopic vascular tumor invasion and poorly differentiated HCC correlated with higher risk of early recurrence after curative resection.
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