Purpose: Interleukin-8 (IL-8) is a neutrophil chemotactic factor, which is associated with some inflammatory diseases and various types of surgical stress. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the early postoperative serum IL-8 level may potentially be a new indicator of a surgical stress in patients undergoing a hepatic resection. Methods: The serum IL-8 levels were measured in 37 patients who underwent a hepatectomy. The serum IL-8 levels were serially measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay both before and after a hepatic resection. In addition, the correlation between the postoperative IL-8 value and several clinical variables were examined. Results: The mean level of IL-8 significantly increased immediately after the operation (P < 0.01 vs before the operation) and decreased on the first postoperative day (POD 1, P < 0.05 vs after the operation). The early postoperative IL-8 levels positively correlated with the length of the procedure (r = 0.383; P < 0.05), the estimated blood loss (r = 0.483; P < 0.01) and the serum bilirubin level on POD 1 (r = 0.390; P < 0.05), and inversely correlated with the white blood cell counts (r = -0.388; P < 0.05) and lymphocyte counts on POD 1 (r = -0.424; P < 0.05). In a comparison of the postoperative IL-8 levels with the surgical factors, there was a significant difference in the extension of the resection (P < 0.05) and in blood transfusion. The patients with a fever of more than 38°C showed higher levels of IL-8 immediately after the operation than those without fever (P < 0.01). Conclusions: The early postoperative serum IL-8 level was found to correlate with the degree of the severity of surgery in patients undergoing a hepatic resection, and it is also considered to be a new indicator of surgical stress and liver injury.
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