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Dig Surg. 2017 Feb 15. doi: 10.1159/000452494. [Epub ahead of print]

Effect of Age on Liver Function in Patients Undergoing Partial Hepatectomy.

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  • 1Department of General, Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, RWTH University Hospital Aachen, Aachen, Germany.



Postresectional liver failure is the most frequent cause of fatal outcome following liver surgery. Diminished preoperative liver function in the elderly might contribute to this. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to evaluate preoperative liver function in patients <60 or >70 years of age scheduled for liver resection.


All consecutive patients aged <60 or >70 years who are about to undergo elective liver surgery between 2011 and 2013 and underwent the methacetin breath liver function test (LiMAx) preoperatively were included. Histologic assessment of the resected liver gave insight into background liver disease. Correlation between age and liver function was calculated with Pearson's test.


Fifty-nine patients were included, 31 were aged <60 and 28 were aged >70 years. General patient characteristics and liver function LiMAx values (340 (137-594) vs. 349 (191-530) μg/kg/h, p = 0.699) were not significantly different between patients aged <60 and >70 years. Moreover, no correlation between age and preoperative liver function LiMAx values was found (R = 0.04, p = 0.810).


Liver function did not seem to differ between younger and older patients.

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