Purpose: To assess the safety of transarterial treatments of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and the statistical correlation of various patient factors with the frequency of complications, in selected patients with cirrhosis when adhering to well-standardized protocols. Materials and Methods: Three hundred twenty consecutive patients with unresectable HCC were treated with transarterial chemoembolization, oil chemoembolization, and embolization. A total of 712 treatments were performed, with an average of 2.3 treatments for each patient. The epirubicin dose was adjusted according to defined laboratory criteria. An early complication was defined as one that occurred within 4 weeks of treatment. Complications were classified as minor and major and assessed by using clinical and laboratory data. Results: Of the 712 procedures, 21 complications (2.9%) occurred in 17 of the 320 patients (5.3%). Major complications included acute liver failure (n = 1, 0.1%), variceal bleeding (n = 2, 0.3%), moderate-to-severe ascites (n = 4, 0.6%), sepsis (n = 3, 0.4%), cholecystitis (n = 1, 0.1%), and diverticulitis (n = 1, 0.1%). Minor complications were hepatic artery damage, including spontaneously resolved dissection (n = 3, 0.4%), mild encephalopathy (n = 1, 0.1%), and aspartate aminotransferase/alanine aminotransferase levels greater than 500 U/L (n = 5, 0.7%). The 30-day mortality rate was 0.003% (n = 1). Constitutional syndrome (P = .0001), Child-Pugh score (P = .0001), ascites (P = .037), and the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score (P = .02) were found to have a statistically significant correlation with complications after univariate analysis. Child-Pugh score (P = .012) and constitutional syndrome (P = .003) were found to have a statistically significant correlation with complications after logistic regression analysis. Conclusions: Transarterial treatments can be considered safe in patients with Child class A and B cirrhosis when an adjusted dose of epirubicin is used according to body surface, severity of liver disease, and white blood cell count. Accurate patient selection and procedure-related factors may reduce the frequency of complications and help preserve liver function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine