Hepatic resection for the carcinoid syndrome in patients with severe carcinoid heart disease: Does valve replacement permit safe hepatic resection?

Joseph B. Lillegard, James E. Fisher, Travis J. McKenzie, Florencia G. Que, Michael B. Farnell, Michael L. Kendrick, John H. Donohue, Kaye Reid-Lombardo, Hartzell V. Schaff, Heidi M. Connolly, David M. Nagorney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Hepatic resection of metastatic carcinoid cancer can prolong survival and control symptomatic endocrinopathy. Decompensated carcinoid heart disease (CHD) can develop in some patients with metastatic carcinoid cancers, which can preclude operation for resectable hepatic metastases. We hypothesized that outcomes after hepatic resection for patients with the carcinoid syndrome after valve replacement for CHD would be similar to carcinoid patients without CHD. Study Design: We compared the survival and symptom control after hepatic resection for patients undergoing valve replacement for CHD to carcinoid patients without CHD matched for age, sex, and extent of hepatectomy. Results: Fourteen patients with earlier valve replacement for CHD were compared with 28 carcinoid patients without CHD. All patients had hepatic resection for metastatic carcinoid disease and carcinoid syndrome. Mean age, sex distribution, and extent of hepatectomy (major hepatectomy, 78%) was similar between groups. Mean interval from valve replacement to hepatectomy was 101 days. There was no operative mortality. Major operative morbidity, inclusive of operative blood loss and cardiorespiratory events, occurred in 28.5% and 14.2% for CHD and non-CHD groups, respectively (p = 0.16). Symptom-free survival for CHD and non-CHD groups was 69% and 81% at 1 year (p = 0.22) and 61% and 44% (p = 0.17) at 5 years, respectively. Octreotide-free survival after hepatectomy 69% and 84% (p = 0.15) at 1 year and 62% and 52% (p = 0.29) 5 years, respectively. Overall survival CHD and non-CHD groups 100% at 1 year and 100% and 70% (p = 0.002) 5 years. Conclusions: Valve replacement for severe CHD is safe and hepatic resection is associated with similar outcomes as patients without CHD undergoing hepatic resection for carcinoid syndrome. Identifying resectable hepatic metastases from carcinoids in patients with severe CHD should prompt valve replacement and interval hepatic resection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-136
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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