Impact of Age on Survival after Partial Portal Vein Arterialization for the Treatment of Post-Hepatectomy Liver Failure in a Rat Model

Matteo Novello, Alessandra Zullo, Laura Niccoli, Michele Ruggiero, Raffaele Grande, Marco Cannistrà, Francesco Vito Mandarino, Lorenza Puviani, Giuseppe Cavallari and Bruno Nardo

Introduction: Post-operative liver failure (PLF) occurs in approximately 10% of patients undergoing major hepatectomy. Partial portal vein arterialization (PPVA) enhances the regenerative capacity of the resected liver. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of age on survival after PPVA for the treatment of post-operative liver failure in a rat model.

Materials and Methods: 24 rats underwent extended liver resection, that leaded to PLF. 12 rats were divided in 2 groups treated with PPVA: group 1a-young rats (n=6, age 2 months) and group 2a-old rats (n=6, age 30 months). Two control groups of rats of the same age were not treated with PPVA: group 1b-young and group 2b-old.

Results: on postoperative day 7, no significant differences were observed among all groups in terms of ALT levels, prothrombin activity and serum creatinine. As for the liver regeneration markers, the level of mitotic index was greater in the groups treated with PPVA compared to the control groups (without significant differences between young and old groups). The 75% (9/12) of the rats treated with PPVA survived up to 7 days, with no significant differences between young (5/6) and elderly rats 66.7% (4/6).

Conclusion: PPVA treatment had the same beneficial effect both in young and old rats.