Defining Post Hepatectomy Liver Insufficiency: Where do We stand?

Kelly Lafaro, Stefan Buettner, Hadia Maqsood, Doris Wagner, Fabio Bagante, Gaya Spolverato, Li Xu, Ihab Kamel, Timothy M. Pawlik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Post-hepatectomy liver failure (PHLF) is a major source of morbidity and mortality in patients undergoing liver resection. The aim of this review is to summarize the recent literature available on PHLF including its definition, predictive factors, preoperative risk assessment, severity grading, preventative measures, and management strategies. Methods: A systematic literature search was carried out with the search engines PubMed, Medline, and Cochrane Database using the keywords related to “liver failure”, “posthepatectomy”, and “hepatic resection”. Results: Liver resection is a curative treatment of liver tumors. However, it leads to concurrent death and regeneration of the remaining hepatocytes. Factors related to the patient, liver parenchyma and the extent of surgery can inhibit regeneration leading to PHLF. Conclusion: Given its resistance to treatment and the high postoperative mortality associated with PHLF, great effort has been put in to both accurately identify patients at high risk and to develop strategies that can help prevent its occurrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2079-2092
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 11 2015


  • Complications
  • Hepatectomy
  • Liver failure
  • Risk models
  • Surgery/mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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