Background: Major liver resection is the only therapeutic option for patients with malignant liver tumors. However, extended hepatectomy often leads to postoperative liver failure, mainly due to insufficient amounts of the remnant liver. Recently, selective portal vein occlusion (PVO) has been introduced to increase the remnant liver volume. This novel surgical technique initiated a progressive development in liver surgery, resulting in a significant increment in potential candidates for curative liver resection. Summary: The theoretical basis for this great advancement is formed by an understanding of the mechanisms of PVO-induced liver regeneration, mainly obtained from animal studies. The aim of this review is to give a comprehensive overview of the relevant animal models of PVO and to discuss the main characteristics of triggered liver regeneration, including the induced hemodynamic, morphological and functional alterations as well as the underlying molecular mechanisms, which might be of interest in both the laboratory and the clinic. Key Messages: Although basic research revealed the main characteristics of PVO-triggered liver regeneration within the last decades, several important issues regarding the regenerative process remain uncertain. To answer these open questions, additional well-designed animal experiments are needed in the future, which allow further refinement of this surgical technique.

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