Any strategy to reduce blood loss in liver resection and decrease blood transfusion would be of benefit to the patient and surgeon. This study evaluates the association of central venous pressure (CVP) with blood loss and blood transfusion during liver resection.


One hundred consecutive hepatic resections in the period 1986–1996 were studied prospectively concerning CVP, volume of blood lost, and volume of blood transfused. Blood loss volume and blood transfusion were analysed for those with a CVP less than or equal to 5 cmH2O, and greater than 5 cmH2O. A multivariate analysis assessed potential confounding factors in the comparison.


The median blood loss in patients with a CVP of 5 cmH2O or less was 200 ml (n = 40) and that in those with a CVP above 5 cmH2O was 1000 ml (n = 52) (P = 0·0001). Only two of 40 patients with a CVP of 5 cmH2O or less had a blood transfusion whereas 25 of 52 patients with a CVP greater than 5 cmH2O required a transfusion (P = 0·0008). A multivariate analysis did not show confounding factors.


The volume of blood lost during liver resection correlates with the CVP. Lowering the CVP to less than 5 cmH2O is a simple and effective way to reduce blood loss during liver surgery. © 1998 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd