Imaging post-stereotactic body radiation therapy responses for hepatocellular carcinoma: typical imaging patterns and pitfalls
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Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) has increased utility in the management of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) ranging from local therapy in early-stage HCC not suitable for other focal therapies to end-stage HCC. As the indications for the use of SBRT in HCC expand, diagnostic imaging is being increasingly used to assess response to treatment. The imaging features of tumor response do not parallel those of other focal therapies such as radiofrequency ablation or trans-arterial chemoembolization that immediately devascularize the tumor. The tumor response to SBRT on imaging takes much longer and often shows gradual changes including the reduction of enhancement and size over several months. It is essential to recognize the typical imaging patterns of response, as well as the appearance of focal liver reaction in the non-target liver that can confound image interpretation. The timing of treatment response assessment imaging is fundamental to minimize the potential for false negative response. The purpose of this article is to review the variable post-SBRT imaging features of HCC and adjacent liver parenchyma and discuss the potential pitfalls of imaging evaluation after SBRT for HCC.
KeywordsHepatocellular carcinoma Stereotactic body radiation therapy Imaging Treatment response CT MRI
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Research involving human participants and animals
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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