Chemoembolization of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients who undergo liver transplantation

Carlo Spreafico, Alfonso Marchianò, Enrico Regalia, Laura F. Frigerio, Francesco Garbagnati, Salvatore Andreola, Marco Milella, Rodolfo Lanocita, Vincenzo Mazzaferro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: To determine the efficacy of chemoembolization (CHE) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with a cirrhotic liver. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-one patients with cirrhosis and 33 HCC nodules received a mean of 2.4 cycles of CHE before orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). Iodized oil plus doxorubicin (13 patients) or mitoxantrone (eight patients) was injected into the hepatic artery. Twelve (57%) of the patients underwent terminal embolization with gelatin sponge pledgets. After OLT, the percentage of tumor necrosis was assessed in each HCC nodule. RESULTS: Twelve (36%) of 33 HCC nodules responded completely to CHE (necrosis > 90%). Successful treatment was statistically significantly related to nodular diameter greater than 2 cm (P = .03), solitariness (P = .0009), hypervascularity (P = .001), and good retention of iodized oil (P = .05). Seven (33%) of the patients had major complications; no death occurred in association with CHE. All patients survived OLT; in three patients (14%), HCC recurred a median of 21 months after OLT. CONCLUSION: CHE seems to be an effective treatment for HCC in patients with liver cirrhosis who await OLT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-690
Number of pages4
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1994


  • Arteries, chemotherapeutic embolization
  • Liver neoplasms, blood supply
  • Liver, interventional procedure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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