Introduction. Surgery's impact on blood levels of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), a potent angiogenic factor, is unknown. Preoperative (PreOp) HGF blood levels are elevated in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) and correlate with disease stage and prognosis. This study's purpose was to determine plasma HGF levels after minimally invasive colorectal resection (MICR) in patients with CRC. Methods. Clinical and operative data were collected. Blood samples were obtained in all patients PreOp and on postoperative day (POD) 1 and 3; in some, samples were taken during weeks 2 and 3 after MICR. Late samples were bundled into 7-day time blocks. HGF levels were determined via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in duplicate. Student's t test was used to analyze the data (significance, P <.0125 after Bonferroni correction). Results. A total of 28 CRC patients who underwent MICR were studied. Most had right, sigmoid, or left segmental colectomy. The mean plasma HGF level was higher on POD 1 (2417 ± 1476 pg/mL, P <.001) and POD 3 (2081 ± 1048 pg/mL, P <.001) when compared with PreOp levels (1045 ± 406 pg/mL). Plasma levels were back to baseline by the second (1100 ± 474 pg/mL, P =.64) and third postoperative weeks (1010 ± 327 pg/mL, P =.51). Conclusion. MICR for CRC is associated with a 1.9- to 2.3-fold increase in plasma HGF levels during the first 3 PODs after which levels normalize. This transient increase may briefly promote angiogenesis and the growth of residual tumor cells.
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