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February 1978

Iatrogenic Liver AbscessesA Complication of Hepatic Artery Ligation for Tumor

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City. Dr Pearlman is presently at the University of Colorado, Veterans Administration Hospital, Denver.

Arch Surg. 1978;113(2):141-144. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1978.01370140031006

• The use of hepatic artery ligation, with or without placement of an indwelling infusion catheter for the instillation of chemotherapy, became widely employed in the late 1960s. This was a natural outgrowth of observations that it was reasonably well tolerated in man if certain precautions were followed and that tumors in the liver, whether primary or metastatic, received the major portion of their blood supply by that vessel. As tumor necrosis following ligation was the anticipated result, it followed that undrained collections of nonviable tumor might well be expected to develop in a certain number of patients and that such collections would form intrahepatic abscesses. It appears that development of the complication does not adversely affect the result of the procedure, and this must certainly only be true because of recognition and proper therapy directed to the complication.

(Arch Surg 113:141-144, 1978)