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Volume 63 - 2000 - Fasc.4 - Case series

Ischemia - reperfusion injury of the liver : pathophysiologic hypotheses and potential relevance to human hypoxic hepatitis

For the last decade, numerous experimental studies have demonstrated that the main part of liver injury caused by low or no flow states does not occur at the time of hypoxia, but during reperfusion. These experimental studies have a crucial clinical impact, because ischemia/reperfusion injury is involved in situations such as temporary vascular exclusion during liver surgery for trauma or tumors, preservation injury before liver transplantation, and liver cell necrosis observed in hypoxic (ischemic) hepatitis. The aim of the present review is to clarify the sequence of pathophysiological events responsible for ischemia/reperfusion injury of the liver, and to examine the potential contribution of liver ischemia/reperfusion injury to the syndrome of human hypoxic hepatitis.