Hepatic surface grooves in Trinidad and Tobago

Shamir O Cawich, Reyad R A Ali, Michael T Gardner, Janet Charles, Sherrise Sandy, Neil W Pearce, Vijay Naraynsingh
Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy: SRA 2020 July 31

PURPOSE: Hepatic surface grooves (HSGs) are prominent depressions on the antero-superior surface of the liver. We sought to document the prevalence of HSGs in an Eastern Caribbean population.

METHODS: We observed all consecutive autopsies performed at a facility in Trinidad and Tobago and recorded the presence, number, location, width, length and depth of any HSG identified. Each liver was then sectioned to document intra-parenchymal abnormalities.

RESULTS: Sixty Autopsies were observed. There were HSGs in 9 (15%) cadavers (5 females and 4 males), at an average age of 66 years (range 48-83, Median 64, SD ± 10.4). The HSGs were located on the diaphragmatic surface of the right hemi-liver in 8 (89%) cadavers, left medial section in 4 (44%), left lateral section in 3 (33%) and coursing along Cantlie's plane in 3 (33%) cadavers. Eight (89%) cadavers with HSGs had other associated anomalies: accessory inferior grooves (5), parenchymal nutmeg changes (5), abnormal caudate morphology (4), hyperplastic left hemi-liver (3), lingular process (2), bi-lobar gallbladder (1) and/or abnormal ligamentous attachments (1).

CONCLUSIONS: Approximately 15% of unselected Afro-Caribbean persons in this Eastern Caribbean population have HSGs. Every attempt should be made to identify HSGs on pre-operative imaging because they can alert the hepatobiliary surgeon to: (1) associated anatomic anomalies in 89% of cases, (2) associated hepatic congestion in 56% of persons, (3) increased risk of bleeding during liver resections and (4) increased technical complexity of liver resections. The association between HSGs, cardiovascular complications, hepatic congestion and nutmeg liver prompted us to propose a new aetiologic mechanism for HSG formation, involving localized hyperplasia at growth zones due to upregulation of beta-catenin levels.

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