Serum hyaluronan as a predictor of hepatic regeneration after hepatectomy in humans


Dr Ogata Department of Surgery, Kurume University School of Medicine, 67 Asahi-machi, Kurume-shi, Fukuoka 830, Japan.



The capacity for hepatic regeneration after hepatectomy is important for allowing surgeons to determine the appropriate extent of resection. However, conventional preoperative liver function tests are unsatisfactory for estimating the post-operative regenerative capacity of the remnant liver. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between preoperative serum hyaluronan and hepatic regeneration.


Preoperative serum hyaluronan levels and the hepatic regeneration rate were estimated in 49 patients using computerized tomographic volumetry. The hepatic fibrotic rate was calculated with non-tumorous tissues stained with Azan–Mallory. Immunolocalization of factor VIII-related antigen (FVIIIAg) was examined as a marker for hepatic sinusoidal capillarization.


The serum hyaluronan level was significantly correlated with the hepatic regeneration rate (P < 0.001). Patients with serum hyaluronan levels below 200 ng mL−1 exhibited a significant correlation between the hepatic regeneration rate and the hepatic fibrotic rate. However, patients with serum hyaluronan levels above 200 ng mL−1 did not demonstrate a distinct correlation. The hepatic regeneration rate of patients with FVIIIAg in the liver and serum hyaluronan levels above 200 ng mL−1 were very low compared with those without FVIIIAg (P < 0.001). Multiple regression analysis revealed that serum hyaluronan was a significant predictor of post-operative hepatic regeneration among several clinical variables (r = 0.857, R2 = 0.735).


It has been suggested that hepatic regeneration is closely related to both hepatic fibrosis and hepatic sinusoidal capillarization. The serum hyaluronan level is regarded as a useful predictor for hepatic regeneration after hepatectomy.