[Transarterial chemoembolization plus computed tomography-guided percutaneous radiofrequency ablation for small hepatocellular carcinoma in special locations]

Yong-jian Guo, Wen-sou Huang, Bin Zhou, Jun-wei Chen, Ming-yue Cai, Jie-sheng Qian, Ming-sheng Huang, Hong Shan, Kang-shun Zhu
Zhonghua Yi Xue za Zhi [Chinese medical journal] 2013 September 3, 93 (33): 2627-30

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) plus computed tomography (CT)-guided percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for small hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in special locations.

METHODS: From June 2008 to December 2011, a total of 36 patients with small HCC (39 lesions) received TACE plus CT-guided percutaneous RFA at our hospital. The follow-up period was over 6 months. They were divided into 2 groups according to the locations of HCC: special location (located at hepatic subcapsular, portal area, next to large blood vessels or other organs) and non-special location groups. All patients underwent TACE at one month pre-RFA.Follow-up imaging with enhanced computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed one month after combined treatment to evaluate the complete ablation rate in two groups.If a complete ablation was achieved, enhanced CT or MRI was performed every 1-3 months to evaluate the local tumor progression. The occurrence rate of complications, complete ablation rate, local tumor progression and time to tumor progression (TTP) were compared between two groups.

RESULTS: In the special location group, a total of 24 TACE and 26 ablations were performed in 20 patients with 22 lesions while there were 18 TACE and 17 ablations in 16 patients with 17 lesions in the non-special location group.In the special location group, 12 patients (46.2%) suffered procedure-related complications, including a major complication (n = 1, left ventricular failure) and a minor complication (n = 11) of vascular injury (n = 6), subcapsular hemorrhage (n = 3) and arterial-portal vein fistula (n = 2); whereas only 3 patients (17.6%) suffered a minor complication of subcapsular hemorrhage (n = 1) and arterial-portal vein fistula (n = 2) in the special location group. The occurrence rate of complications was similar between two groups (P = 0.101). The complete ablation rate after one month was 68.2% (15/22) in the special location group and it was significantly higher than that of the non-special location group (100%, P = 0.012).In the special location group, the 6-month, 1-, 2-, 3-year local tumor progression rates were 31.8%, 40.9%, 45.5%, 45.5% versus 0,0,0, 5.9% in the non-special location group respectively. The mean TTP of 14.4 months in the special location group was markedly shorter than that in the non-special location group (31.5 months, P = 0.001).

CONCLUSION: The combined regimen of TACE and percutaneous RFA is both safe and feasible for small HCC in special location. And the rate of local tumor progression is significantly higher than that of non-special location tumor. Postoperative close imaging follow-up is needed for tumor residue or recurrence.

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