Objective: To find out whether hepatic ischaemia-reperfusion stimulates hep
atic tumour metastases using a cell line of rat ascitic hepatoma (AH130).
Design: Prospective experimental study. S
etting: University laboratories, Japan.
Materials: 118 male Donryu rats.
Intervention: After laparotomy alone (group 1, n=35) or laparotomy and 20-m
inutes ischaemia (group 2, n=34) or laparotomy and 30-minutes ischaemia (gr
oup 3, n=34) of the median and left hepatic lobes, the animals were given e
ither an intraportal injection of 1 x 10(5) or an intravenous injection of
1 x 10(6) viable AH130 cells.
Main outcome measures: 10 days after inoculation of tumour cells the number
of nodules on the surface of the right lobe and of the median plus left lo
bes were separately counted for each Liver.
Results: Irrespective of the route of tumour inoculation in group 1, there
was no significant difference in the number of tumours/ g liver between the
right and the median plus left lobes. However, in groups 2 and 3, the numb
er of tumours/g liver in the median plus left lobes was significantly highe
r than in the right lobe (p < 0.05). Furthermore, in the median plus left l
obes, animals who had had 30 minutes of ischaemia had significantly more tu
mours than those in the other two groups (p < 0.01).
Conclusion: Hepatic ischaemia-reperfusion may increase the risk of developm
ent of haematogenous liver metastases, by stimulating tumour cell-endotheli
al cell interactions.