The beneficial impacts of splanchnic vasoactive agents on hepatic functional recovery in massive hepatectomy porcine model

Hye-Sung Jo, Jae Hyun Han, Yoon Young Choi, Jin-I Seok, Young-In Yoon, Dong-Sik Kim


Background: Excessive portal pressure after massive hepatectomy can cause hepatic sinusoidal injury and have deleterious impacts on hepatic functional recovery, contributing to developing post-hepatectomy liver failure. This study aimed to assess the effects of splanchnic vasoactive agents on hepatic functional recovery and regeneration while clarifying the underlying mechanism, using a 70% hepatectomy porcine model.
Methods: Eighteen pigs undergoing 70% hepatectomy were involved in this study and divided into three groups: control (n=6), terlipressin (n=6), and octreotide (n=6). Terlipressin (0.5 mg) and octreotide (0.2 mg) were administered 3 times a day for each group with the first dose starting just before surgery until the 7th postoperative day, at which time the surviving pigs were sacrificed. During the period, portal pressure, liver weight, biochemical analysis, histological injury score, and molecular markers were evaluated and compared between groups.
Results: The 7-day survival rates in the octreotide, terlipressin, and control groups were 100%, 83.3%, and 66.7%, respectively. The portal pressures decreased in both terlipressin and octreotide groups than the control group at 30 minutes, 1 hour and 6 hours after hepatectomy. The amount of regeneration measured by liver weight to body weight ratio at the time of sacrifice in the terlipressin group was smaller than that in the control group (117% vs. 129%, P=0.03). Serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and total bilirubin levels at 1 and 6 hours after hepatectomy and prothrombin time/international normalized ratio (PT/INR) at 6 hours after hepatectomy were significantly improved in the terlipressin and octreotide groups compared to the control group. Serum endothelin-1 (ET-1) was significantly lower in the terlipressin group than that in the control group 6 hours after hepatectomy (P<0.01). The histological injury score in the control group was significantly higher than that in the terlipressin group on the 7th postoperative day (P<0.01).
Conclusions: Splanchnic vasoactive agents, such as terlipressin and octreotide, could effectively decrease portal pressure and attenuate liver injury after massive hepatectomy.