Interleukin-8 is superior to CRP for the prediction of severe complications in a prospective cohort of patients undergoing major liver resection

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Introduction: Early detection of severe complications may reduce morbidity and mortality in patients undergoing hepatic resection. Therefore, we prospectively evaluated a panel of inflammatory blood markers for their value in predicting postoperative complications in patients undergoing liver surgery. Methods: A total of 139 patients undergoing liver resections (45 wedge resections, 49 minor resections, and 45 major resections) were prospectively enrolled between August 2017 and December 2018. Leukocytes, CRP, neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), thrombocyte-lymphocyte ratio (TLR), bilirubin, INR, and interleukin-6 and -8 (IL-6 and IL-8) were measured in blood drawn preoperatively and on postoperative days 1, 4, and 7. IL-6 and IL-8 were measured using standardized immunoassays approved for in vitro diagnostic use in Germany. ROC curve analysis was used to determine predictive values for the occurrence of severe postoperative complications (CDC ≥ 3). Results: For wedge and minor resections, leukocyte counts at day 7 (AUC 0.80 and 0.82, respectively), IL-6 at day 7 (AUC 0.74 and 0.73, respectively), and CRP change (∆CRP) at day 7 (AUC 0.72 and 0.71, respectively) were significant predictors of severe postoperative complications. IL-8 failed in patients undergoing wedge resections, but was a significant predictor of severe complications after minor resections on day 7 (AUC 0.79), had the best predictive value in all patients on days 1, 4, and 7 (AUC 0.72, 0.72, and 0.80, respectively), and was the only marker with a significant predictive value in patients undergoing major liver resections (AUC on day 1: 0.70, day 4: 0.86, and day 7: 0.92). No other marker, especially not CRP, was predictive of severe complications after major liver surgery. Conclusion: IL-8 is superior to CRP in predicting severe complications in patients undergoing major hepatic resection and should be evaluated as a biomarker for patients undergoing major liver surgery. This is the first paper demonstrating a feasible implementation of IL-8 analysis in a clinical setting.


Original languageEnglish
Article number377
JournalLangenbeck's archives of surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2023

External IDs

Scopus 85172398423
ORCID /0000-0001-9389-4688/work/150330135
PubMed 37747507



  • Prospective Studies, C-Reactive Protein, Humans, Postoperative Complications/epidemiology, Interleukin-8/blood, Liver/surgery, Interleukin-6