Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery

, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp 1433–1439 | Cite as

Prognostic Impact of Preoperative the Branched-Chain Amino Acid to the Tyrosine Ratio in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Patients after Initial Hepatectomy

  • Toru MizuguchiEmail author
  • Masaki Kawamoto
  • Makoto Meguro
  • Yukio Nakamura
  • Kohei Harada
  • Kazuharu Kukita
  • Koichi Hirata
Original Article



The branched-chain amino acid/tyrosine ratio (BTR) reflects the amino acid balance and the severity of liver disease. The aim of the present study was to determine the relationship between BTR and liver function in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Furthermore, we evaluated the clinical usefulness of BTR as a prognostic indicator of disease-free and overall patient survival after initial hepatectomy.


Between January 2004 and December 2008, 105 consecutive HCC patients who underwent initial hepatectomy were enrolled in this study. The correlation between BTR and preoperative liver functional indicators was evaluated. The cutoff levels of BTR for 2-year survival prediction were evaluated using a dot blot diagram. The patients were divided into high BTR (4.5 or higher) and low BTR (4.4 or lower) groups and these were compared in terms of clinical variables such as liver functional indicators, operative variables, and tumor characteristics.


The preoperative BTR level decreased according to the severity of liver disease. BTR was correlated with the albumin, bilirubin, and prealbumin levels, as well as the prothrombin time. Although the preoperative liver function was significantly different between the high BTR and low BTR groups, the operative variables and tumor-related variables were not found to be significantly different. Postoperative complications in the high BTR group were significantly less frequent than in the low BTR group (p = 0.003). Disease-free and overall patient survival in the high BTR group were significantly longer than in the low BTR group (p < 0.001 and p = 0.021, respectively).


BTR reflected the pathological liver background with a high correlation to the other liver functional indicators. BTR is thus considered to be a useful marker to predict postoperative complications, disease-free survival, and overall survival of HCC patients after initial hepatectomy. It is, therefore, a useful indicator of liver function and a predictor for the risk of cancer recurrence and overall survival in HCC patients.


Branched-chain amino acid/tyrosine ratio Liver function Hepatocellular carcinoma Hepatectomy 



We thank Takashi Horie (Ajinomoto Co. Inc., Tokyo, Japan) for his help in preparing this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Toru Mizuguchi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Masaki Kawamoto
    • 1
  • Makoto Meguro
    • 1
  • Yukio Nakamura
    • 1
  • Kohei Harada
    • 1
  • Kazuharu Kukita
    • 1
  • Koichi Hirata
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Surgery I, Sapporo Medical University Hospital, School of MedicineSapporo Medical UniversitySapporoJapan

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