We retrospectively compared the outcome of 13 patients at our institution and that of 163 reported cases of pedunculated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with that of conventional HCC subdivided by tumor diameter (group A: less than 2 cm; group B: 2–5 cm, group C: more than 5 cm). The survival of patients with pedunculated HCC in the 163 reported cases was no different from that of group B, but less favorable than in group A (p < 0.01) and more favorable than in group C (p < 0.01). Among the 163 patients with pedunculated HCC, the 113 cases of surgically treated patients had higher survival than the 21 patients treated with transcatheter arterial embolization (n = 16) or transcatheter arterial infusion chemotherapy (n = 5) (p < 0.01) and than 29 conservatively treated patients (p < 0.001). A total of 70 patients out of 163 (42%) died within 1 year after diagnosis. Additionally, almost all cases of pedunculated HCC showed histologically moderately or poorly differentiated characteristics according to Edmondson and Stainer’s classification or the WHO classification. These results suggest that pedunculated HCC has not a favorable prognosis if appropriate surgical resection has not been performed very early within a few months because of its rapid progressive nature.

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