Computer tomography was used to determine changes in liver volume in 81 patients with biliary cancer, who had undergone right hepatic lobotomy or more extensive resection of the liver.
Dr M Nagino and his team from Nagoya, Japan, used multivariate analyses to assess the factors affecting liver regeneration.
The mean remnant liver volume immediately following hepatectomy was 41% of original liver volume.
After two weeks, liver volume rapidly increased to a mean of 59% of pre-surgery volume. This was followed by slower liver regeneration, with liver volume reaching a plateau of 74% its original volume about 1 year after hepatectomy.
|Liver regeneration stops approximately 6 months to a year after hepatectomy.
|British Journal of Surgery|
The research team found that body surface area, the extent of liver resection, combined portal vein resection, and preoperative portal vein resection were all significantly associated with the rate of liver regeneration within the first two weeks.
Body surface area and liver function significantly affected final liver volume. Liver function was measured by the plasma clearance rate of indocyanine green.
Dr Nagino concludes, "The liver regenerates rapidly in the first two weeks after hepatectomy."
"Thereafter, liver regeneration progresses slowly and stops when the liver is three-quarters of its original volume."