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HPB Surgery
Volume 6 (1993), Issue 3, Pages 151-162
Review Article

Reticuloendothelial System Function Following Acute Liver Failure Induced by 90% Hepatectomy in the Rat

Department of Surgery, Lund University, Lund S-221 85, Sweden

Received 12 May 1992

Copyright © 1993 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Sepsis and bacterial infections are frequent complications of acute liver failure and following major liver resection. The mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are unclear. In this study, RES function and blood clearance of radiolabelled E. coli was immediately impaired following 90% hepatectomy, although the reduction in liver volume resulted in an increase in splenic (temporary) and pulmonary (persisting) uptake. A significant correlation between liver function and host RES function was observed. The uptake capacity of the RES in the liver remnant and spleen did not correlate with subserosal blood flow. The uptake in the brain gradually increased with time, paralleling an increased leakage across the blood-brain barrier. Thus, a significantly impaired RES function resulted from experimental 90% hepatectomy-induced acute liver failure, which might explain the high incidence of septic events in the clinical situation.