Department of Surgery Institute of Digestive Disease Department of Medicine and Therapeutics Department of Anatomical and Cellular Pathology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.
BACKGROUND: Liver fibrosis and cirrhosis are well-known risk factors for morbidity after hepatectomy. Liver stiffness measurement (LSM) using transient elastography is a new method for detection of hepatic fibrosis and cirrhosis with high accuracy. Whether LSM can predict posthepatectomy outcomes has not been studied.
METHODS: This was a prospective cohort study in which consecutive patients underwent hepatectomy for various indications from February 2010 to July 2011. All patients received detailed preoperative assessments including LSM and indocyanine green (ICG) clearance test. The primary outcome was major postoperative complication.
RESULTS: One hundred five patients with a mean age of 59 years were included; 75 (71.4%) had chronic viral hepatitis and 76 (72.4%) had hepatocellular carcinoma. Thirty-four patients (32.4%) received major hepatectomy. The median ICG retention rate at 15 minutes was 4.2 (0.1%-32%) and the median LSM was 9.4 (3.3-75 kPa). For posthepatectomy outcomes, only LSM but not ICG showed significant correlation with major postoperative complications on receiver operating characteristic curves, with area under the curve of 0.79 (P < 0.001). Using the calculated cutoff at 12.0 kPa, LSM had sensitivity of 85.7% and specificity of 71.8% in the prediction of major postoperative complications. It was also an independent prognostic factor for major postoperative complications by multivariate analysis. The operative blood loss and transfusion rate were also significantly higher in patients with LSM >12.0 kPa.
CONCLUSIONS: High LSM (>12.0 kPa) predicted worse posthepatectomy outcomes. Preoperative LSM was better than ICG test in the prediction of major postoperative complications. It was a useful preoperative investigation for risk stratification before hepatectomy.