Patients with Child–Pugh grade A cirrhosis and clinical evidence of portal hypertension are likely to develop posthepatectomy liver failure (PHLF). Whether such patients are suitable candidates for partial hepatectomy is controversial. This study explored the impact of portal venous pressure (PVP) on PHLF and the possibility of stratifying patients with Child–Pugh grade A cirrhosis for risk of PHLF using clinical data alone.


Between April 2009 and May 2011, consecutive patients who underwent partial hepatectomy for hepatocellular carcinoma and intraoperative measurement of PVP were included in this prospective study. Using signs of clinically significant portal hypertension (CSPH), patients with Child–Pugh grade A cirrhosis were subclassified into three groups: no, mild and severe CSPH. Risk factors for PHLF were subjected to univariable and multivariable analysis, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis.


Sixty-seven (35·3 per cent) of 190 patients developed PHLF, which was persistent in 12 patients (6·3 per cent). Four patients (2·1 per cent) died from PHLF within 3 months of surgery. Multivariable analysis showed both PVP and CSPH to be independent predictors of PHLF (P < 0·001). PVP values, incidence of PHLF and persistent PHLF were significantly higher in the severe CSPH group than in the other two groups (P < 0·001). Severe CSPH (odds ratio 27·68, P = 0·005) and a preoperative neutrophil : lymphocyte ratio (NLR) of 2·8 or above (odds ratio 49·75, P = 0·002) were independent factors affecting the incidence of persistent PHLF.


The severity of CSPH, corresponding to different PVP levels, could be used to stratify patients with Child-Pugh grade A cirrhosis and to predict the incidence of PHLF. Patients with severe CSPH or a NLR of 2·8 or above were more likely to develop persistent PHLF after partial hepatectomy. Copyright © 2012 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.