Preoperative portal vein embolization for major liver resection

Rassam F, et al. Functional and volumetric assessment of liver segments after portal
vein embolization: Differences in hypertrophy response. Surgery. 2019 Apr;165(4):686-695.

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RESULTS: A total of 90 patients underwent portal vein embolization of the right liver. After 3 weeks, there was a significant increase in both volumetric and functional share of the future remnant liver (both P < .01). The increase in functional share exceeded the increase in volumetric share (P < .01). The median functional contribution of segment 4 after portal vein embolization was 41.5% (31.7%-48.7%) of the nonembolized lobe. Preoperative chemotherapy was not a significant predictor of the increase in function or volume. Compared with benign lesions, malignant diseases were significant negative predictors of the functional response.

CONCLUSION: A total of 3 weeks after portal vein embolization, the functional response exceeded that of the volumetric response, meaning that the waiting time to resection potentially can be decreased. Segment 4 had a significant share of both volume and function, enabling surgical strategies only leaving segment 4 as a monosegment. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy had no negative influence on the hypertrophy response.


Mihara K, et al. A predictive factor of insufficient liver regeneration after preoperative portal vein embolization. Eur Surg Res. 2013;51(3-4):118-28.

RESULTS: One hundred and twenty-three patients with a post-PVE remK level of >0.05 underwent hepatectomy without postoperative liver failure [sufficient liver regeneration (SLR) group], and 9 patients with a post-PVE remK level of <0.05 did not due to insufficient FRLF [insufficient liver regeneration (ILR) group]. In the SLR group, the KICG values did not change after PVE (median, 0.144-0.146, p = 0.523); however, the %FRLV and remK increased significantly (35.0-44.3%, p < 0.001 and 0.0488-0.0610, p < 0001, respectively). In contrast, in the ILR group, the KICG values decreased significantly (0.128-0.108, p = 0.021) and the %FRLV increased marginally (27.4-32.6%, p = 0.051). As a result, the remK did not increase significantly (0.0351-0.0365, p = 0.213). A receiver operating characteristic curve demonstrated an remK value of 0.04 obtained before PVE (pre-PVE remK) to be the optimal cutoff point for defective liver regeneration. The univariate and multivariate analyses revealed that a pre-PVE remK value of <0.04 was a factor for ILR. It was also correlated with postoperative liver failure in the analysis of the patients who underwent hepatectomy.

CONCLUSIONS: The patients in the ILR group did not achieve SLR after PVE due to a significant decrease in the KICG and an insufficient increase in %FRLV. A pre-PVE remK value of <0.04 is a useful predictor of insufficient regeneration of the nonembolized liver, even after PVE.


van Lienden KP, et al. Portal vein embolization before liver resection: a systematic review. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 2013 Feb;36(1):25-34.

Free full-text. 

Forty-four articles were selected, including 1,791 patients with a mean age of 61 ± 4.1 years. Overall technical success rate was 99.3 %. The mean hypertrophy rate of the FRL after PVE was 37.9 ± 0.1 %. In 70 patients (3.9 %), surgery was not performed because of failure of PVE (clinical success rate 96.1 %). In 51 patients (2.8 %), the hypertrophy response was insufficient to perform liver resection. In the other 17 cases, 12 did not technically succeed (0.7 %) and 7 caused a complication leading to unresectability (0.4 %). In 6.1 %, resection was cancelled because of local tumor progression after PVE. Major complications were seen in 2.5 %, and the mortality rate was 0.1 %. A head-to-head comparison shows a negative effect of liver cirrhosis on hypertrophy response. The use of n-butyl cyanoacrylate seems to have a greater effect on hypertrophy, but the difference with other embolization materials did not reach statistical significance. No difference in regeneration is seen in patients with cholestasis or chemotherapy.


More PubMed results on portal vein embolization before liver resection.

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