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Surgery. 2003 May;133(5):495-506.

Evaluation of preoperative portal embolization for safe hepatectomy, with special reference to assessment of nonembolized lobe function with 99mTc-GSA SPECT scintigraphy.

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First Department of Surgery, Yamagata University School of Medicine, Yamagata City, Japan.



Preoperative portal embolization (PE) is used to stimulate liver hypertrophy in the nonembolized lobe. We studied liver volume and function with computed tomography and technetium-99m-galactosyl human serum albumin ((99m)Tc-GSA) scintigraphy before PE and at 1 or 2 weeks after PE.


Right PE was performed in 30 patients. Morphologic and functional hypertrophy in the left lobe after PE was determined and related to the presence or absence of cholestasis, biliary drainage of the embolized lobe, and postoperative liver failure.


The volume of the left lobe and (99m)Tc-GSA uptake increased rapidly for the first week after PE, but no significant increase was seen during the second week. Morphologic hypertrophy was less pronounced in patients with jaundice (P =.03). When PE was performed at a total bilirubin level above 2 mg/dL, the interval between PE and surgery was prolonged because of cholangitis and liver abscess formation. The net morphologic hypertrophy ratio was significantly higher in livers that had undergone left lobe drainage only (9.1% +/- 0.9%) compared with those in which there was drainage of the embolized lobes (5.7% +/- 0.9%; P =.03). The volume and (99m)Tc-GSA uptake of the left lobe in the second week after PE was significantly smaller in patients with postoperative liver failure (33.7% +/- 2.4% and 18.0% +/- 2.1%, respectively) than in patients without liver failure (46.2% +/- 1.4% and 38.4% +/- 2.3%; P =.003 and P =.01, respectively).


In the nonembolized lobe, the functional increase in (99m)Tc-GSA uptake is more pronounced than suggested by the degree of morphologic hypertrophy. Whenever possible, biliary drainage should not be performed in the lobe undergoing hepatectomy. (99m)Tc-GSA SPECT scintigraphy is useful for the evaluation of postoperative liver failure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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