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J Hepatobiliary Pancreat Surg. 2006;13(6):543-8. Epub 2006 Nov 30.

Early detection of liver failure after hepatectomy by indocyanine green elimination rate measured by pulse dye-densitometry.

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Second Department of Surgery, Nagoya University School of Medicine, 65 Tsurumai-cho, Showa-ku, Nagoya 466-8550, Japan.



Following a major hepatectomy, some degree of clinical and biochemical dysfunction occurs. Surgeons usually check serum total bilirubin levels to diagnose postoperative liver dysfunction. However, we cannot predict liver failure by biochemical data alone within the early postoperative period. Using newly developed pulse dye-densitometry (PDD), we measured serial postoperative indocyanine green elimination rate (ICG-K) values and investigated the possible relation between postoperative ICG-K values and complications.


Fifty-one patients scheduled for hepatectomy between January 2000 and December 2002 were enrolled. Pulse-dye densitometry was used to evaluate postoperative liver function. We analyzed the relation between postoperative ICG-K and postoperative outcome, assessed in terms of morbidity and mortality.


Liver failure was seen in seven patients. The ICG-K value on postoperative day 1 in patients with liver failure was significantly lower than that in patients without liver failure (0.070 +/- 0.018 vs 0.152 +/- 0.056/min respectively; P < 0.001). There were no differences between preoperative ICG-K values in patients with and without liver failure. The sensitivity and specificity of an ICG-K value of less than 0.07 on postoperative day 1 were 71.4% and 95.5%, respectively, for predicting liver failure.


We can measure the ICG-K value by PDD at the bedside without time delay, and we can predict liver failure in the early postoperative period by the ICG-K values on postoperative day 1. ICG-K values measured by PDD can provide important information for perioperative management.

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