Currently, standard planning for hepatic resection is based on the schematic description of the functional anatomy of the liver according to Couinaud, and on the evaluation of 2-dimensional computed tomographic imaging of the liver. Recent developments in image-based computer assistance allow patients’ individual functional liver anatomy to be computed from mathematical analysis of standard multidetector computed tomographic scans. An intended resection can be performed virtually under realistic anatomic conditions, and the influence of different resection planes on blood supply and drainage within the remaining liver parenchyma can be calculated by a computer-assisted risk analysis. We evaluated the impact of computer-assisted risk analysis on operation planning for major hepatectomies, in particular on extent of resection or need for vascular reconstruction.
Prospective cohort study.
Academic tertiary care referral center.
Twenty-five consecutive patients admitted to the hospital for major hepatectomy, of whom 4 had tumors deemed unresectable by both methods.
Two-dimensional computed tomography was used to calculate the volume of the future liver remnant with the intended resection line manually determined, and then the volume of the future liver remnant was calculated again by computer-assisted risk analysis as the remaining liver volume not being devascularized but having both portal venous blood supply and hepatic venous drainage.
Main Outcome Measures
The difference between the remaining functional liver volumes calculated by the 2 methods.
The deviation between liver volumes determined by 2-dimensional computed tomography and by computer-assisted risk analysis was less than 20% in 14 of 21 patients, between 20% and 30% in 3, between 30% and 40% in 2, and 41% and 43% in 1 patient each. The most extensive deviations were found in extended left hepatectomy or when left hepatectomy was combined with additional wedge resection in the right lobe. In 7 cases, all with a deviation greater than 20%, the results of computer-assisted risk analysis led to a change of operation planning with regard to the extent of resection (n = 3) or the need for vascular reconstruction (n = 4), although in 1 of these cases resection was not performed because of peritoneal carcinomatosis.
Image-based computer assistance allows for areas at risk for devascularization or venous congestion to be identified and precisely calculated before resection. In selected cases with small liver remnants, operation planning may be improved substantially by preoperative computer-assisted risk analysis.