Simultaneous portal and hepatic vein embolization before major liver resection

Langenbecks Arch Surg. 2021 Aug;406(5):1295-1305. doi: 10.1007/s00423-020-01960-6. Epub 2020 Aug 24.


Background: Regenerative liver surgery expands the limitations of technical resectability by increasing the future liver remnant (FLR) volume before extended resections in order to avoid posthepatectomy liver failure (PHLF). Portal vein rerouting with ligation of one branch of the portal vein bifurcation (PVL) or embolization (PVE) leads to a moderate liver volume increase over several weeks with a clinical dropout rate of 20-40%, mostly due to tumor progression during the waiting period. Accelerated liver regeneration by the Associating Liver Partition and Portal vein Ligation for Staged hepatectomy (ALPPS) was poised to overcome this limitation by reduction of the waiting time, but failed due increased perioperative complications. Simultaneous portal and hepatic vein embolization (PVE/HVE) is a novel minimal invasive way to induce rapid liver growth without the need of two surgeries.

Purpose: This article summarizes published results of PVE/HVE and analyzes what is known about its efficacy to achieve resection, safety, and the volume changes induced.

Conclusions: PVE/HVE holds promise to induce accelerated liver regeneration in a similar safety profile to PVE. The demonstrated accelerated hypertrophy may increase resectability. Randomized trials will have to compare PVE/HVE and PVE to determine if PVE/HVE is superior to PVE.

Keywords: Future liver remnant; Hypertrophy; Liver; Liver regeneration; Portal vein embolization.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Embolization, Therapeutic*
  • Hepatectomy / adverse effects
  • Hepatic Veins
  • Humans
  • Ligation
  • Liver
  • Liver Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Portal Vein / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome