Background: Performing major hepatectomy for patients with marginal hepatic function is challenging. In some cases, the procedure is contraindicated owing to the threat of postoperative liver failure. In this case report, we present the first case of marginal liver function (indocyanine green clearance retention rate at 15 min [ICGR15]: 28%) successfully treated with right hepatectomy, resulting in total caudate lobe preservation. Case presentation: A 71-year-old man was diagnosed with sigmoid colon cancer with three liver metastases (S5, S7, and S8). All of metastatic lesions shrunk after chemotherapy, but his ICGR15 and indocyanine green clearance rate (ICGK) were 21% and 0.12, respectively. Moreover, the remnant liver volume was only 39%. Therefore, portal venous embolism (PVE) of the right portal vein was suggested. Portography showed divergence of the considerably preserved right caudate lobe branch (PV1R) from the root of the right portal vein. The liver function was reevaluated 18 days after PVE was suggested. During this time, the ICGR15 (21–28%) and ICGK rate (0.12–0.10) deteriorated. The right caudate lobe was significantly enlarged; thus, a total caudate lobe-preserving hepatectomy (TCPRx) was performed. Patients eligible for TCPRx included those with (1) hepatocellular carcinoma or metastatic liver cancer, (2) no tumor in the caudate lobe, (3) marginal liver function (ICG Krem greater than 0.05 if TCPRx was adapted; otherwise, less than 0.05) and Child–Pugh classification category A, and (4) preserved PV1R and right caudate bile duct branch. The procedure was performed through (A) precise estimation of the remnant liver volume preoperatively, (B) repeated intraoperative cholangiography to confirm the biliary branch of the right caudate lobe (B1R) conservation, and (C) stapler division of posterior and anterior Glisson’s pedicles laterally to avoid injuries to the PV1R and B1R. Conclusions: Right hepatectomy with total caudate lobe preservation, following PVE, was a safe and viable surgical technique for patients with marginal liver function.
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