Regeneration of Human Liver After Hepatic Lobectomy Studied by Repeated Liver Scanning and Repeated Needle Biopsy

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Regeneration of the residual lobe of the liver after hepatic lobectomy in humans was studied by repeated liver scanning in seven noncirrhotic and three cirrhotic patients. Each patient was studied for several months during the study which lasted from 1–12 years. Regeneration was apparent in noncirrhotic liver remnants following hepatic lobectomy. In the case of a long standing, space occupying lesions such as benign giant cysts, the liver remnant would complete its regeneration process rather early, usually within a few months of hepatic lobectomy. In hepatoma cases, however, regeneration of the residual lobe after hepatic resection usually took five or six months for completion. On the contrary, no definite increase in the size of the liver remnant was seen on repeated liver scanning in cirrhotic patients. Histologic study of the residual lobe was repeated on needle biopsy specimens in two noncirrhotic and four cirrhotic patients. Regenerative hyperplasia of liver cells with large hyperchromatic, or double nuclei never seen in the preresection liver appeared in the liver remnant five, 11, and 27 days after hepatic lobectomy in noncirrhotic patients. In cirrhotics, however, there were no histologic changes between the preresection liver and the postresection remnant studied three, five, 15, 40 days or even two years and 8 months after hepatic lobectomy.

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