Hepatic and portal vein blood flow during carbon dioxide pneumoperitoneum for laparoscopic hepatectomy
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Background: Laparoscopy under carbon dioxide (CO2) pneumoperitoneum has many advantages. However, the risks of CO2 pneumoperitoneum during laparoscopic hepatectomy (LH) have not been defined.
Methods: The hemodynamics of the hepatic vein were examined during CO2 pneumoperitoneum both pre- and posthepatectomy in eight pigs. Portal blood flow was measured with Doppler ultrasound during laparoscopic cholecystectomy in 10 human patients.
Results: Experimentally, elevated intraabdominal pressure (IAP) with CO2 insufflation produced significant increases in CO2 partial pressure and echogenicity of the hepatic vein in the posthepatectomy group. Clinically, elevated IAP caused significant narrowing of the portal vein and significant decreases in portal blood velocity. The mean portal flow was significantly decreased with elevation of IAP >10 mmHg.
Conclusions: LH with CO2 pneumoperitoneum may lead to embolism caused by CO2 bubbling through the hepatic vein. Elevated IAP may cause a decrease in hepatic blood flow and induce severe liver damage, especially in patients with poor liver function. Gasless laparoscopy using abdominal wall lifting should be employed in LH to avoid the risks of CO2 embolism and liver damage.
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