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Surgery. 2000 May;127(5):512-9.

Standardized measurement of the future liver remnant prior to extended liver resection: methodology and clinical associations.

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  • 1Department of Surgical Oncology, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030, USA.



There is no agreement regarding the preoperative measurement of liver volumes and the minimal safe size of the liver remnant after extended hepatectomy.


In 20 patients with hepatobiliary malignancy and no underlying chronic liver disease, volumetric measurements of the liver remnant (segments 2 and 3 +/- 1) were obtained before extended right lobectomy (right trisegmentectomy). The ratios of future liver remnant to total liver volume were calculated by using a formula based on body surface area. In 12 patients, response to preoperative right trisectoral portal vein embolization was evaluated. In 15 patients who underwent the planned resection, preoperative volumes were correlated with biochemical and clinical outcome parameters.


The future liver remnants increased after portal vein embolization (26% versus 36%, P < .01). Smaller size liver remnants were associated with an increase in postoperative liver function tests (P < .05) and longer lengths of hospital stay (P < .02). Preliminary data indicates an increase in major complications for liver volumes < or = 25% (P = .02).


A simple method of measurement provides an assessment of the liver remnant before resection. It is useful in evaluating response to portal vein embolization and in predicating the outcome before extended liver resections.

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