Delayed Identification by CT of Parenchymal Changes Induced by Ligation of a Portal Vein Branch in the Rat-Preliminary Report

Angela Provenzano, Claudia Borri, Marilena Fazi, Carlotta Vallone, Alessandra Caligiuri, Fabio Marra, Stefano Colagrande


Aim: To investigate the early and mid-term effects of ligation of a portal vein branch on liver structure and function and to correlate histological observations with images obtained with the use of computed tomography. Materials and Methods: Rats were randomly divided into 6 groups and subjected to the ligation of the left branch of portal vein. Liver damage was evaluated measuring aminotransferase levels, by histological analysis, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) gene expression and changes in liver weight in sham-operated animals and at different time points after surgery. Computed tomography scans were performed at 6, 24 and 33 days after PVBL. Results: A progressive atrophy of the left hepatic lobe, characterized by cellular death and reduction in volume, started at the 8h time point, becoming significant after 48 h. A compensatory response of the right lobe progressively restored liver volume. Both reduction in the size of the left lobe and hypertrophy of the remnant lobes were detectable by CT scan at later time points, i.e. 24 and 33 days after surgery. Conclusion: Histological changes induced by ligation of a portal vein branch occur at an early stage, preceding detection by radiologic imaging.


Portal vein branch ligation; Liver hypotrophy; Computed tomography

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