Analysis of the components of hypertransaminasemia after liver resection

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The increase in plasma aspartate (AST) and alanine (ALT) aminotransferase after liver resection is multifactorial, and a major problem is the difficult quantification of the impact of each factor involved.


Regression analysis of a large series of measurements for 92 hepatectomy patients was carried out to assess in detail the postoperative evolution of AST and ALT, together with related components.


The best correlate of increased AST and ALT on postoperative day 1 was the duration of surgery (T-surg) (r2 = 0.31 and 0.29), with a lower correlation for intraoperative liver ischemia (T-isch) (r2 = 0.22 and 0.17, respectively; p<0.001 for all). Subsequently AST decreased more quickly than ALT and both followed an inverse exponential pattern. T-surg, T-isch, time after surgery and plasma bilirubin explained 77% and 51% of the variability of AST and ALT, respectively, for all postoperative measurements (p<0.001 for both). The best correlate of T-isch was a delayed increase in bilirubin, detected on postoperative day 7, attenuated by the use of intermittent liver ischemia.


These data show that T-isch may not be the main determinant of increased transaminases after hepatectomy, and provide a quantitative analysis of the main impact of the trauma of liver resection, liver ischemia, and other factors on the postoperative evolution of transaminases.

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