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World J Hepatol. Jul 27, 2012; 4(7): 199-208
Published online Jul 27, 2012. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v4.i7.199
A half century (1961-2011) of applying microsurgery to experimental liver research
Maria-Angeles Aller, Natalia Arias, Isabel Prieto, Salvador Agudo, Carlos Gilsanz, Laureano Lorente, Jorge-Luis Arias, Jaime Arias
Maria-Angeles Aller, Laureano Lorente, Jaime Arias, Surgery I Department, School of Medicine, Complutense University of Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Natalia Arias, Jorge-Luis Arias, Neurosciences Lab, Psychobiology Department, School of Psychology, University of Oviedo, 33003 Oviedo, Spain
Isabel Prieto, Surgery Department, La Paz Hospital, School of Medicine, Autonomous University of Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain
Salvador Agudo, Carlos Gilsanz, General Surgery Unit, Sudeste Hospital, Arganda del Rey, 28500 Madrid, Spain
Author contributions: All the authors are experts in performing the microsurgical techniques applied to liver research; all the authors revised, modified and approved the final version of the paper.
Supported by grants from the Mutua Madrileña Foundation, No. FMM Ref.nº AP 69772009; and the National Department of Science and Innovation, No. MICINN, Ref. nº PSIC2010-19348, in part
Correspondence to: María Angeles Aller, MD, PhD, Cátedra de Cirugía, Facultad de Medicina, Plaza de Ramon y Cajal s.n., Universidad Complutense, 28040 Madrid, Spain.
Telephone: + 34-91-3941388 Fax: +34 91 3947115
Received: February 10, 2011
Revised: June 29, 2012
Accepted: July 21, 2012
Published online: July 27, 2012

The development of microsurgery has been dependent on experimental animals. Microsurgery could be a very valuable technique to improve experimental models of liver diseases. Microdissection and microsutures are the two main microsurgical techniques that can be considered for classifying the experimental models developed for liver research in the rat. Partial portal vein ligation, extrahepatic cholestasis and hepatectomies are all models based on microdissection. On the other hand, in portacaval shunts, orthotopic liver transplantation and partial heterotopic liver transplantation, the microsuture techniques stand out. By reducing surgical complications, these microsurgical techniques allow for improving the resulting experimental models. If good experimental models for liver research are successfully developed, the results obtained from their study might be particularly useful in patients with liver disease. Therefore experimental liver microsurgery could be an invaluable way to translate laboratory data on liver research into new clinical diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.

Keywords: Microsurgery, Portacaval shunts, Cholestasis, Hepatectomies, Liver transplantation, Portal hypertension