Effectiveness of Transarterial Embolization of Hepatocellular Carcinoma as a Bridge to Transplantation.
PURPOSE: To assess the effectiveness of bland transarterial embolization of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) as a "bridge" to transplantation. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this retrospective study, 117 patients with HCC that met Milan criteria underwent bland embolization as their initial and sole therapy for treatment of HCC (88 men and 29 women; mean age, 60.4 y; range, 35-88 y). Subsequent postembolization contrast-enhanced computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging studies were reviewed to determine whether Milan criteria were met in an intent-to-transplant analysis. Freedom from progression beyond Milan criteria and survival were calculated by Kaplan-Meier technique. Predictors of progression and survival were also assessed. RESULTS: After embolization, 87% and 78% of patients' disease still met Milan criteria at 6 and 12 months, respectively. The median time until disease progression beyond Milan criteria was 22.6 months (95% confidence interval, 16.2-29 mo). α-Fetoprotein levels, number of lesions, United Network for Organ Sharing stage, Model for End-stage Liver Disease score, and cirrhosis etiology did not correlate significantly with stability within Milan criteria. A total of 34 patients (29%) underwent eventual liver transplantation at a median of 3.3 months (range, 0.5-20.9 mo). Liver transplantation was a significant independent predictor of longer survival (6.9 y vs 2.6 y; P < .001). The major complication rate within 30 days of embolization was 2.6%, including one mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Bland transarterial embolization as a bridging strategy to maintain HCC within Milan criteria was successful in 78% of patients at 1 year, which compares favorably with other locoregional embolotherapies.
Hodavance, MS; Vikingstad, EM; Griffin, AS; Pabon-Ramos, WM; Berg, CL; Suhocki, PV; Kim, CY
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