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Br J Surg. 2011 Jun;98(6):836-44. doi: 10.1002/bjs.7459. Epub 2011 Apr 1.

Postoperative course and clinical significance of biochemical blood tests following hepatic resection.

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Department of General, Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.



Hepatic resection continues to be associated with substantial morbidity. Although biochemical tests are important for the early diagnosis of complications, there is limited information on their postoperative changes in relation to outcome in patients with surgery-related morbidity.


A total of 835 consecutive patients underwent hepatic resection between January 2002 and January 2008. Biochemical blood tests were assessed before, and 1, 3, 5 and 7 days after surgery. Analyses were stratified according to the extent of resection (3 or fewer versus more than 3 segments).


A total of 451 patients (54·0 per cent) underwent resection of three or fewer anatomical segments; resection of more than three segments was performed in 384 (46·0 per cent). Surgery-related morbidity was documented in 258 patients (30·9 per cent) and occurred more frequently in patients who had a major resection (P = 0·001). Serum bilirubin and international normalized ratio as measures of serial hepatic function differed significantly depending on the extent of resection. Furthermore, they were significantly affected in patients with complications, irrespective of the extent of resection. The extent of resection had, however, little impact on renal function and haemoglobin levels. Surgery-related morbidity caused an increase in C-reactive protein levels only after a minor resection.


Biochemical data may help to recognize surgery-related complications early during the postoperative course, and serve as the basis for the definition of complications after hepatic resection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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