BACKGROUND - In patients with colorectal cancer liver metastases (CRCLM), chemotherapy-induced hepatic injury is associated with increased splenic volume, thrombocytopenia, and decreased long-term survival. The current study investigates the relationship between change in splenic volume after preoperative chemotherapy and development of postoperative complications.
STUDY DESIGN - The study group consisted of 80 patients who underwent resection of CRCLM; half received neoadjuvant chemotherapy for 6 months before resection (n = 40) and the other half did not (n = 40). The study group was compared with two control groups: a normal group composed of patients undergoing cholecystectomy for benign disease (n = 40) and a group of untreated, nonmetastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) patients (n = 40). Splenic volume was measured by CT/MRI volumetry. In the study group, the nontumoral liver was graded for steatosis and sinusoidal injury; operative and outcomes characteristics were also analyzed.
RESULTS - Before chemotherapy, CRCLM patients had normalized spleen volumes of 3.2 ± 1.1 mL/kg, significantly higher than normal (2.5 ± 0.8 mL/kg; p < 0.001) and nonmetastatic CRC (2.6 ± 1.3 mL/kg; p < 0.05) patients, with higher splenic volume after 6 months of chemotherapy (4.2 ± 1.7 mL/kg; p < 0.01). After chemotherapy, splenic volume increase was associated with any perioperative complication (p < 0.01) and major complications (p < 0.05). Patients with ≥39% splenic volume increase (maximal chi-square test) were significantly more likely to have major complications (p < 0.01). Spleen volume changes were not correlated with change in platelet count (R(2) = 0.03; p = 0.301).
CONCLUSIONS - In patients with CRCLM, the presence of liver metastases and chemotherapy are associated with higher splenic volume. Percent splenic volume increase after 6 months of chemotherapy can aid preoperative risk stratification, as it was an independent predictor of major postoperative complications.
Copyright © 2015 American College of Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.