Smartphone app helps predict liver surgery risks more effectively

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Liver cancer remains a significant health challenge, and surgical removal of parts of the liver is often the best hope for a cure.

However, not all patients are equally suited for this procedure, and predicting the risk of complications is crucial.

Researchers led by Patrick Starlinger at MedUni Vienna have developed a smartphone app that calculates a personalized risk score for patients undergoing liver resection, significantly improving the safety of liver surgery.

The Importance of Liver Surgery Safety

While the liver can tolerate the removal of a significant portion of its volume, factors like chronic liver disease, cancer type, and the extent of resection can increase the risk of postoperative liver complications.

Postoperative liver failure is a major cause of mortality after liver surgery, and early risk assessment is essential.

Traditional preoperative liver function tests can be costly, time-consuming, and invasive. The new approach aims to simplify and enhance this assessment using a smartphone app.

The research team developed the APRI + ALBI score, a multivariable model that relies on basic patient characteristics and routine laboratory parameters (GOT, platelets, albumin, bilirubin) to assess preoperative liver function effectively.

This score provides a more comprehensive assessment compared to traditional liver function tests, which mainly evaluate the excretory capacity of the liver.

The study included over 14,000 patients from 10 different institutions and utilized the National Surgery Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database.

The APRI + ALBI score demonstrated significant predictive performance, which was further validated in the international multicenter cohort.

One of the key advantages of the APRI + ALBI score is its simplicity. It can be easily calculated using routine laboratory values and basic patient characteristics.

Moreover, a freely available smartphone app has been developed to calculate the score. This app simplifies the risk assessment process and makes it accessible to a wider range of healthcare providers.

The smartphone app and the APRI + ALBI score offer an improved and more cost-effective way to predict the risk of postoperative liver failure for patients undergoing liver resection.

By providing a precise risk assessment, this approach can significantly enhance the safety of liver surgery.


The development of a smartphone app that calculates the APRI + ALBI score represents a significant advancement in preoperative risk assessment for liver surgery.

This innovation not only simplifies the process but also improves the accuracy of risk prediction. Ultimately, it holds the potential to make liver surgery safer for a broader range of patients.

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The research findings can be found in the Annals of Surgery.

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