Does providing routine liver volume assessment add value when performing CT surveillance in cirrhotic patients?
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The measurement of liver volume (LV) is considered to be an effective prognosticator for postoperative liver failure in patients undergoing hepatectomy. It is unclear whether LV can be used to predict mortality in cirrhotic patients.
We enrolled 584 consecutive cirrhotic patients who underwent computerized topography (CT) of the abdomen for hepatocellular carcinoma surveillance and 50 age, gender, race, and BMI-matched controls without liver disease. Total LV (TLV), functional LV (FLV), and segmental liver volume (in cm3) were measured from CT imaging. Cirrhotic subjects were followed until death, liver transplantation, or study closure date of July 31, 2016. The survival data were assessed with log-rank statistics and independent predictors of survival were performed using Cox hazards model.
Cirrhotic subjects had significantly lower TLV, FLV, and segmental (all except for segments 1, 6, 7) volume when compared to controls. Subjects presenting with hepatic encephalopathy had significantly lower TLV and FLV than those without HE (p = 0.002). During the median follow-up of 1145 days, 112 (19%) subjects were transplanted and 131 (23%) died. TLV and FLV for those who survived were significantly higher than those who were transplanted or dead (TLV:1740 vs. 1529 vs. 1486, FLV 1691 vs. 1487 vs. 1444, p < 0.0001). In the Cox regression model, age, MELD score, TLV, or FLV were independent predictors of mortality.
Baseline liver volume is an independent predictor of mortality in subjects with cirrhosis. Therefore, it may be useful to provide these data while performing routine surveillance CT scan as an important added value. Further studies are needed to validate these findings and to better understand their clinical utility.
KeywordsLiver Diagnostic imaging Portal hypertension
Aspartate to platelet ratio index
Enhanced liver fibrosis
Functional liver volume
Model for end stage liver disease
Total liver volume
Data collection (MP, PP, MA, SG, and WT), data analysis and interpretation of data (MG, MT, and SL), and manuscript writing, critical review, and corrections (MG, MT, KS, and SL).
This work was partly supported by VA Merit Award 1I01CX000361 and NIH R01 AA025208 (to S.L).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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