Liver failure after extended hepatectomy represents a major challenge in the surgery of hepatic colorectal metastasis. A previous study has indicated that inhibition of phosphodiesterase type 3 (PDE 3) stimulates liver regeneration. However, little is known whether PDE 3 inhibitors, such as cilostazol, also stimulate the growth of remnant metastases. Therefore, we herein studied the effect of cilostazol on engraftment, vascularization and growth of colorectal liver metastasis after major hepatectomy. WAG-rats underwent either major hepatectomy or sham operation. Metastases were induced by subcapsular implantation of 5 × 10(5) CC531-colorectal cancer cells. Animals were daily treated with cilostazol (5 mg/kg body weight) or glucose solution. Tumor growth was measured by high-resolution ultrasound at days 7 and 14. Tumor vascularization and tumor cell proliferation were determined by immunohistochemistry and western blotting. High-resolution ultrasound analysis in hepatectomized and non-hepatectomized animals showed that cilostazol does not stimulate tumor growth. Accordingly, the number of PCNA-positive tumor cells did not differ between cilostazol-treated animals and sham-treated controls. Interestingly, cilostazol reduced tumor vascularization in both hepatectomized and non-hepatectomized animals. This was indicated by a significantly lower number of platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule (PECAM-1)-positive cells in tumors of cilostazol-treated animals compared to sham-treated controls. The PDE 3 inhibitor cilostazol does not stimulate the growth of colorectal metastases during liver regeneration after major hepatectomy.