Background: The purpose of this study was to increase the tolerance of the liver to radiation injury with the proven effect of ischemic precondition (IP) in decreasing oxygen-derived free radicals, and to compare the effect of intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT) during ischemia and during reperfusion on rat liver. Materials and Methods: Two hundred fifty to 280 g male Wistar rats underwent 45 min of normothermic, segmental liver ischemia with or without IP/5 min ischemia and 10 min reperfusion, in two cycles. During ischemia or reperfusion, IORT doses of 0, 25, or 50 Gy were applied to the ischemic liver lobe. Hepatic microcirculation was monitored by laser Doppler flowmeter. Short- and long-term histological, alkaline phosphatase, bilirubin and tumor necrosis factor-alpha levels, liver tissue, and serum antioxidant alterations were measured. Results: Histological, laboratory, as well as flowmetry alterations caused by 25 Gy were reversible after 6 mo. Three mo following IORT, histological examination revealed parenchymal fibrosis, bridging, liver cell atrophy, and bile duct proliferation in the group that was irradiated with 50 Gy during reperfusion, without IP. In this group, the changes were present 6 mo following IORT, and also the levels of tumor necrosis factor-α and oxygen-derived free radicals after reperfusion were increased. All these changes were significantly milder in groups with IP, especially those that were irradiated during ischemia. Conclusions: IORT to the liver, up to 25 Gy, can be applied without short- or long-term treatment morbidity. Doses of up to 50 Gy are tolerated with IP, which has never been described before. Irradiation during ischemia is less toxic for the liver tissue.
- intraoperative radiotherapy
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