Liver regeneration and the atrophy-hypertrophy complex

Robin D. Kim, Jae Sung Kim, Go Watanabe, Dagmara Mohuczy, Kevin E. Behrns

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The atrophy-hypertrophy complex (AHC) refers to the controlled restoration of liver parenchyma following hepatocyte loss. Different types of injury (e.g., toxins, ischemia/ reperfusion, biliary obstruction, and resection) elicit the same hypertrophic response in the remnant liver. The AHC involves complex anatomical, histological, cellular, and molecular processes. The signals responsible for these processes are both intrinsic and extrinsic to the liver and involve both physical and molecular events. In patients in whom resection of large liver malignancies would result in an inadequate functional liver remnant, preoperative portal vein embolization may increase the remnant liver sufficiently to permit aggressive resections. Through continued basic science research, the cellular mechanisms of the AHC may be maximized to permit curative resections in patients with potentially prohibitive liver function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-103
Number of pages12
JournalSeminars in Interventional Radiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Atrophy-hypertrophy complex
  • Liver regeneration
  • Portal vein embolization


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