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Correlations between histopathological diagnosis of chemotherapy-induced hepatic injury, clinical features, and perioperative morbidity


  • This manuscript was presented as an oral presentation at the ANZHPBA meeting, 2010.

Charles Pilgrim, Hepatopancreaticobiliary Service, Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery, The Alfred Hospital, Commercial Rd, Melbourne, Vic. 3000, Australia. Tel: +61 3 9076 2000. Fax: +61 3 9076 0397. E-mail:


Background:  Chemotherapy has in some series been linked with increased morbidity after a hepatectomy. Hepatic injuries may result from the treatment with chemotherapy, but can also be secondary to co-morbid diseases. The aim of the present study was to draw correlations between clinical features, treatment with chemotherapy and injury phenotypes and assess the impact of each upon perioperative morbidity.

Patients and methods:  Retrospective samples (n= 232) were scored grading steatosis, steatohepatitis and sinusoidal injury (SI). Clinical data were retrieved from medical records. Correlations were drawn between injury, clinical features and perioperative morbidity.

Results:  Injury rates were 18%, 4% and 19% for steatosis, steatohepatitis and SI, respectively. High-grade steatosis was more common in patients with diabetes [odds ratio (OR) = 3.33, P= 0.01] and patients with a higher weight (OR/kg = 1.04, P= 0.02). Steatohepatitis was increased with metabolic syndrome (OR = 5.88, P= 0.02). Chemotherapy overall demonstrated a trend towards an approximately doubled risk of high-grade steatosis and steatohepatitis although not affecting SI. However, pre-operative chemotherapy was associated with an increased SI (OR = 2.18, P= 0.05). Operative morbidity was not increased with chemotherapy, but was increased with steatosis (OR = 2.38, P= 0.02).

Conclusions:  Diabetes and higher weight significantly increased the risk of steatosis, whereas metabolic syndrome significantly increased risk of steatohepatitis. The presence of high-grade steatosis increases perioperative morbidity, not administration of chemotherapy per se.