Background: Underlying hepatic injury and cirrhosis are leading factors that interfere with the post-operative liver regeneration and function. Hyperbaric oxygenation (HBO) has been reported to ameliorate the ischemia-reperfusion injury of the liver, to induce compensatory hypertrophy of the predicted remnant liver in rats after portal vein ligation and to augment liver regeneration after hepatectomy in non-cirrhotic rats. Our aim was to determine the effect of HBO treatment on liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy in normal and cirrhotic mice in this experimental study.
Materials and methods: The effect of HBO on liver regeneration was studied in a mice model combining carbon tetrachloride induced cirrhosis and partial hepatectomy. Mice were divided into four groups: Control, cirrhotic, non-cirrhotic HBO-treated, and cirrhotic HBO-treated. All animals underwent 40% hepatectomy. Liver regeneration was evaluated by the proliferating cell nuclear antigen-labeling index. Serum aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase levels were measured to evaluate liver injury.
Results: Serum alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase levels were significantly decreased in HBO-treated cirrhotic group compared to cirrhosis group after hepatectomy (P = 0.001 and P = 0.014, respectively). The proliferating cell nuclear antigen labeling index was significantly higher in HBO treated cirrhotic group than in cirrhotic group after hepatectomy (P = 0.022).
Conclusions: Our results suggest that HBO treatment improves liver functions and augments hepatocyte regeneration in cirrhotic mice after hepatectomy. Post-operative HBO treatment may have a beneficial effect on post-operative liver function and regeneration in cirrhotic patients.