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Ann Surg Oncol. 2017 Sep;24(9):2447-2455. doi: 10.1245/s10434-017-5887-2. Epub 2017 May 17.

LiMAx Test Improves Diagnosis of Chemotherapy-Associated Liver Injury Before Resection of Colorectal Liver Metastases.

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Department of General, Visceral, Vascular and Paediatric Surgery, University Hospital of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.
Department of General, Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, Charité -Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
Department of General, Visceral, Vascular and Pediatric Surgery, Saarland University Hospital, Homburg (Saar), Germany.
Department of General, Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, University Hospital Aachen, Rhine Westphalia Institute of Technology, Aachen, Germany.
Evangelisches Krankenhaus Paul Gerhardt Stift, Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Germany.



Chemotherapy of colorectal liver metastases (CLMs) prior to liver resection implies the risk of chemotherapy-associated liver injury, leading to increased postoperative morbidity and mortality OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the LiMAx (liver maximum capacity) test for diagnosis of chemotherapy-associated liver injury.


This was a retrospective analysis of patients with CLMs, prior to liver resection. We performed preoperative assessment of liver function using biochemical parameters and the LiMAx test. The individual history of chemotherapy within 12 months, including regimen, number of cycles, and therapy-free interval were collected, and histopathological evaluation of tumor-free liver tissue was performed in resected patients.


A total of 204 patients were included, of whom 127 (62%) had received previous chemotherapy. The LiMAx test was worse after chemotherapy (340 ± 95 vs. 391 ± 82 µg/kg/h; p < 0.001). Impaired LiMAx results (<315 µg/kg/h) were determined in 49% of patients after chemotherapy, and no effects of chemotherapy, liver steatosis or fibrosis on biochemical parameters were observed. LiMAx impairment was dependent on the number of oxaliplatin cycles, the therapy-free interval, and obesity in multivariate analysis. In addition, the LiMAx test was worse in patients with relevant steatosis, fibrosis and steatohepatitis. Patients with an impaired LiMAx showed sufficient regeneration during chemotherapy cessation when surgery was postponed (272 ± 57 - 348 ± 72 µg/kg/h; p = 0.003).


The LiMAx test enables non-invasive preoperative diagnosis of chemotherapy-associated liver injury. Preoperative performance of the LiMAx test can augment surgical strategy and timing of surgery after previous chemotherapy, thus avoiding increased postoperative morbidity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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