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Percutaneous ethanol injection before liver transplantation in the hepatocellular carcinoma

Fernanda Branco, Concepción Brú, Ramon Vilana, Luis Bianchi, Angelo Alves de Mattos


Background/objectives. The study evaluates the outcome of patients who performed orthotopic liver transplantation (LT) as treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), with percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI) while on the waiting list, verifying the effectiveness of this treatment in producing tumor necrosis and avoiding dropout and identifying treatment-related complications. Material and methods. Medical records of 97 patients on the waiting list for LT at Hospital Clinic of Barcelona were examined. Sixty-two (56.3%) patients had been treated with PEI (group 1); 35 (31.8%) had not received any anti-tumor therapy before LT (group 2). Results. Complete necrosis of the tumor was observed in 38/59 (64.3%) patients. The presence of additional nodules in the explant and the diameter of the main tumor of group 1 was significantly lower than in group 2 (p = 0.002). Dropout related to tumor progression occurred in 4.8% and 8.5%, and tumor recurrence in 5% and 6.2% for groups 1 and 2, respectively. Major complications were not evidenced after 421 PEI sessions and there was no tumor implant in the needle traject. Conclusions. In conclusion, the percutaneous treatment of HCC with PEI is a safe and effective method before the LT.

Key words. Hepatocellular carcinoma, Liver transplantation, Percutaneous treatment, Percutaneous ethanol injection, Dropout

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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