• Hepatectom;
  • labile phosphates;
  • amino acids;
  • microsurgery;
  • rat

Abstract. The influence of total hepatectomy on cerebral energy state, ammonia-related amino acids of the brain tissue and plasma amino acids was studied in anaesthetized rats after total hepatectomy. The hepatectomy was performed with the aid of a microsurgical three-stage procedure. In the first stage, division of the inferior vena cava was performed. In the second stage 4 weeks later a porta-caval anastomosis was constructed, followed after 1 week by a total hepatectomy.

The brain energy state, defined as the concentrations of phosphocreatine, ATP, ADP and AMP, was unchanged 4 h after the hepatectomy. Plasma amino acids did not differ significantly between hepatectomized and shunted control rats. On the other hand, clear-cut increases in the concentrations of glutamine, and decreases in the concentrations of glutamate and aspartate, were observed in the fronto-parietal part of the cerebral cortex and the brain stem. These changes might explain the minor manifestations of cerebral dysfunction in the early phase of the hepatectomized state.