Noninvasive diagnosis of chemotherapy induced liver injury by LiMAx test--two case reports and a review of the literature

BMC Res Notes. 2015 Mar 26;8:99. doi: 10.1186/s13104-015-1055-6.


Background: Chemotherapy-induced liver injury is a well-known phenomenon after neoadjuvant therapy of liver metastasis and contributes to postoperative morbidity and mortality. Still there is no suitable test available to reliably determine functional impairment and hepatic regeneration after chemotherapy.

Case presentation: We report two cases of caucasian patients who underwent repeated liver function assessments using LiMAx (maximum liver function capacity), Indocyanine plasma disappearance rate and biochemical liver function parameters in the course of adjuvant oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy. Both patients yielded a decrease from their initial liver function determined by LiMAx. Liver regeneration assessed functional recovery within 4 weeks in case of mild functional impairment after cessation of chemotherapy or within 8 weeks in case of major functional deterioration. Indocyanine plasma disappearance rate and biochemical parameters remained stable or without a clear trend in case of minor functional impairment. This is the first report using a dynamic liver function test to evaluate the impact and recovery from chemotherapy associated liver injury.

Conclusions: The LiMAx test might be a sensitive tool to diagnose mild functional impairment after chemotherapy when standard liver function tests have remained within normal ranges and might be capable to assess the course of regeneration after chemotherapy. This could be useful to optimize individual chemotherapy-free interval before liver surgery can be carried out safely.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetamides*
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / diagnosis*
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Digestive System*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Organoplatinum Compounds / adverse effects*
  • Oxaliplatin
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Acetamides
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Organoplatinum Compounds
  • Oxaliplatin
  • methacetin