Background: The number of elderly patients undergoing hepatic resection for surgical treatment of benign and malignant cancers is increasing. However, there is limited clinical data on the complications and long-term survival rates associated with liver surgery in the elderly patients (≥70 years) versus younger patients for malignant liver conditions. Methods: Six electronic databases were searched for original published studies comparing elderly (≥70) versus younger (<70) cohorts for malignant liver tumours. Data were extracted and analysed according to predefined clinical endpoints. Results: Twenty-seven comparative studies were identified, including 4769 elderly patients versus 15855 younger patients (n = 20624). There was significantly higher 30-day mortality in the elderly colorectal liver metastasis group (P < 0.00002) and significant difference between elderly and young in terms of overall survival (hazard ration (HR), 1.10; P = 0.02). However, there was no difference in disease-free survival (HR, 1.05; P = 0.27). Post-operative pneumonia, renal failure and infection were more frequent in the elderly group. Conclusions: Liver resection for malignant hepatic tumours in the elderly is associated with a greater 30-day mortality and overall mortality when compared with younger cohorts, but similar disease-free survival. Length of stay and transfusions were not significantly different while pneumonia, renal failure and infections were more frequent in the elderly group.
- Liver resection
- Malignant liver disease