Preoperative determination of the surgical procedure for hepatectomy using technetium-99m-galactosyl human serum albumin (99mTc-GSA) liver scintigraphy



Technetium-99m-diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acidgalactosyl human serum albumin (Tc-GSA) is a new liver scintigraphy agent which binds to the asialoglycoprotein receptors. We evaluated the preoperative assessment for hepatectomy using Tc-GSA liver scintigraphy. Ninety patients with hepatocellular carcinoma were admitted for elective hepatectomy. Tc-GSA scintigraphy was conducted after the intravenous injection of Tc-GSA, and maximal removal rate of Tc-GSA (GSA-Rmax) was calculated using a radiopharmacokinetic model. Measurement of GSA-Rmax, conventional liver function, and 15-minute retention rate of indocyanine green (ICGR15) was carried out preoperatively. The relationships between liver functions, histological activity index (HAI), ICGR15, and GSA-Rmax values were estimated. A significant correlation was obtained between GSA-Rmax and ICGR15 (r = .534, P < .0001). Preoperative discrepancies between GSA-Rmax and ICGR15 values were seen in 15 patients. In these cases, the GSA-Rmax values correlated well with the total HAI scores (r = .595, P < .02), but no significant correlation was seen between the ICGR15 and HAI scores. Two patients died of postoperative liver failure within 2 months of the operation. These two patients were found to have severe discrepancies between their preoperative GSA-Rmax and ICGR15 values. We concluded that GSA-Rmax might be useful for selecting candidates for hepatectomy and that extended hepatectomies (di- and tri-segmentectomy) are high-risk surgical procedures in the case of low GSA-Rmax scores (below 0.35).