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Ann Surg. 1999 Feb;229(2):210-5.

Risk of major liver resection in patients with underlying chronic liver disease: a reappraisal.

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  • 1Department of Hepatobiliary and Digestive Surgery, Beaujon Hospital, University Paris VII, Clichy, France.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To explore the relation of patient age, status of liver parenchyma, presence of markers of active hepatitis, and blood loss to subsequent death and complications in patients undergoing a similar major hepatectomy for the same disease using a standardized technique.

SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA:

Major liver resection carries a high risk of postoperative liver failure in patients with chronic liver disease. However, this underlying liver disease may comprise a wide range of pathologic changes that have, in the past, not been well defined.

METHODS:

The nontumorous liver of 55 patients undergoing a right hepatectomy for hepatocellular carcinoma was classified according to a semiquantitative grading of fibrosis. The authors analyzed the influence of this pathologic feature and of other preoperative variables on the risk of postoperative death and complications.

RESULTS:

Serum bilirubin and prothrombin time increased on postoperative day 1, and their speed of recovery was influenced by the severity of fibrosis. Incidence of death from liver failure was 32% in patients with grade 4 fibrosis (cirrhosis) and 0% in patients with grade 0 to 3 fibrosis. The preoperative serum aspartate transaminase (ASAT) level ranged from 68 to 207 IU/l in patients with cirrhosis who died, compared with 20 to 62 in patients with cirrhosis who survived.

CONCLUSION:

A major liver resection such as a right hepatectomy may be safely performed in patients with underlying liver disease, provided no additional risk factors are present. Patients with a preoperative increase in ASAT should undergo a liver biopsy to rule out the presence of grade 4 fibrosis, which should contraindicate this resection.

PMID:
10024102
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1191633
Free PMC Article
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