Metabolic signature of electrosurgical liver dissection.

Witigo von Schönfels, Oliver von Kampen, Eleonora Patsenker, Felix Stickel, Bodo Schniewind, Sebastian Hinz, Markus Ahrens, Katharina Balschun, Jan-Hendrik Egberts, Klaus Richter, Andreas Landrock, Bence Sipos, Olga Will, Patrizia Huebbe, Stefan Schreiber, Michael Nothnagel, Christoph Röcken, Gerald Rimbach, Thomas Becker, Jochen Hampe, Clemens Schafmayer
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PloS one
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High frequency electrosurgery has a key role in the broadening application of liver surgery. Its molecular signature, i.e. the metabolites evolving from electrocauterization which may inhibit hepatic wound healing, have not been systematically studied.Human liver samples were thus obtained during surgery before and after electrosurgical dissection and subjected to a two-stage metabolomic screening experiment (discovery sample: N = 18, replication sample: N = 20) using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry.In a set of 208 chemically defined metabolites, electrosurgical dissection lead to a distinct metabolic signature resulting in a separation in the first two dimensions of a principal components analysis. Six metabolites including glycolic acid, azelaic acid, 2-n-pentylfuran, dihydroactinidiolide, 2-butenal and n-pentanal were consistently increased after electrosurgery meeting the discovery (p<2.0 × 10(-4)) and the replication thresholds (p<3.5 × 10(-3)). Azelaic acid, a lipid peroxidation product from the fragmentation of abundant sn-2 linoleoyl residues, was most abundant and increased 8.1-fold after electrosurgical liver dissection (preplication = 1.6 × 10(-4)). The corresponding phospholipid hexadecyl azelaoyl glycerophosphocholine inhibited wound healing and tissue remodelling in scratch- and proliferation assays of hepatic stellate cells and cholangiocytes, and caused apoptosis dose-dependently in vitro, which may explain in part the tissue damage due to electrosurgery.Hepatic electrosurgery generates a metabolic signature with characteristic lipid peroxidation products. Among these, azelaic acid shows a dose-dependent toxicity in liver cells and inhibits wound healing. These observations potentially pave the way for pharmacological intervention prior liver surgery to modify the metabolic response and prevent postoperative complications.