Complement activation induced by ischemiareperfusion in humans: a study in patients undergoing partial hepatectomy.

J.H. Straatsburg, M.A. Boermeester, G.J. Wolbink, T.M. van Gulik, D.J. Gouma, W.M. Frederiks, C.E. Hack, I. H. Straatsburg

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BACKGROUND/AIM: Activation of the complement system is induced by ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) in animal models. Whether I/R also induces complement activation in humans is not known. Here, we investigated complement activation in patients undergoing major liver resection. METHODS: In 11 of 17 patients, the hepatoduodenal ligament was clamped, making the liver transiently ischemic (HEMI+; mean ischemia time, 42 +/- 18 min); 6 patients were operated without clamping (HEMI-). Activation at plasma level (circulating activation products) was studied in blood samples collected prior to surgery and 5, 24 and 48 h thereafter. Parameters analyzed were C4b/c and C3b/c, C4d and C3d, C3a, as well as complexes between complement and C-reactive protein (CRP), which reflect CRP-induced complement activation. Activation at tissue level (C3 and C4 fixation) was studied in liver biopsies obtained before and after resection. RESULTS: In plasma, post-operative levels of C4b/c and C3b/c were not different from baseline levels in both groups. Mean plasma levels of C4b/c and C3b/c were significantly decreased at 24 h post-surgery in the HEMI+ group (p=0.02 and p=0.07). At the same time, levels of C4d-CRP and C3d-CRP were significantly increased (p <0.01 for both parameters). At tissue level, activated complement fragments were observed intracellularly in some pericentral hepatocytes. In I/R livers, large numbers of hepatocytes were positively stained for all complement activation products. CONCLUSIONS: Our data show that in situ complement activation via the classical route occurred during liver resection and that ischemia and/or reperfusion may have contributed to activation. Levels of complement activation products in the circulation were low, showing that transient ischemia had no severe influence on systemic complement activation, suggesting a locally contained response
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)783-91
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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