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C-Reactive Protein Predicts Success of Liver Surgery

Dampened post-surgery response points to poor prognosis

WEDNESDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- Lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) after liver resection are associated with an increased risk of post-hepatectomy liver failure and other poor outcomes, according to the results of a study published in the March issue of the Archives of Surgery.

Sakhawat H. Rahman, M.D., and colleagues at St. James's University Hospital in Leeds, U.K., conducted a study of 138 patients who underwent liver resection (including 39 minor, 51 standard and 48 extended resections). Median CRP levels were measured on days one, three and seven after surgery.

The researchers found that median serum levels of CRP were significantly lower after extended resection than after standard or minor resection. Patients who developed post-hepatectomy liver failure (such as hyperbilirubinemia, ascites, coagulopathy and encephalopathy), multiorgan dysfunction syndrome, or who died, had significantly lower CRP levels after surgery and levels were an independent predictor of poor outcome, the report indicates.

"Serum CRP concentration after hepatectomy not only may reflect residual liver function but also may have an important metabolic role in regeneration," the authors write. "Its potential utility as an early index of post-hepatectomy liver failure and septic morbidity needs to be prospectively evaluated because this may provide a rationale for the instigation of targeted supportive therapy."

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