Interleukin-6 release in the hepatic blood outflow during normothermic liver ischaemia in humans

L. Guidi, A. Tricerri, M. Costanzo, E. Adducci, M. Ciarniello, A. R. Errani, G. De Cosmo, P. Barattini, D. Frasca, C. Bartolini, G. Nuzzo, G. Gasbarrini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background. Liver surgery techniques have consistently improved and normothermic ischaemia of the liver is considered to be a safe procedure to reduce intraoperative haemorrhage. Hepatic failure, however, remains a significant complication. In liver ischaemia-reperfusion injury, cytokines play a key proinflammatory role. Cytokines may be part of the intercellular signalling that leads to recovery or to failure after major surgery. Moreover, they could be potential predictors of the outcome. Modulation of the pattern of cytokine response in the early postsurgery period could represent a new approach to minimise the impact of these procedures. Aims. The aim of our study was to analyse the cytokine pattern in the hepatic blood outflow in patients undergoing surgical intervention of partial liver resection with clamping of the hepatic pedicle and liver ischaemia, and to correlate the cytokine behaviour with clinical parameters. Patients. We studied eight patients (mean age 55 years) who underwent surgical intervention of liver resection during vascular exclusion of the hepatic pedicle. Patients were monitored for haemodynamic and haematological parameters during the pre-, infra- and postoperative period. Methods. IL-1 α, IL-6, TNF-α and IFN-γ were assayed from peripheral and central vein blood at different times. Blood samples for cytokine assays were also drawn from the supra-hepatic veins after clamping of the porta hepatis. Results. We found a significant increase of the IL-6 levels in the supra-hepatic samples during liver ischaemia, while the trend with IL-1α was less clear; IFN-γ and TNF-α were undetectable with the methods used. IL-6 levels appeared to correlate positively with bilirubin and γ-GT levels and negatively with the degree of acidosis. Conclusions. Our study confirms that during surgical ischaemic stress there is an increase of IL-6 serum levels more relevant in supra-hepatic vein blood. Cytokines could contribute to modulate the inflammatory response to liver ischaemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-415
Number of pages7
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • IL-6
  • Liver ischaemia
  • Liver resection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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