Irreversible Electroporation for Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Initial Experience
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To evaluate the efficacy and safety of irreversible electroporation (IRE) in the treatment of unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Materials and Methods
A retrospective study was conducted from September 2014 to June 2017. A total of 21 HCCs in 21 patients with cirrhosis were treated with IRE. There were eight subcapsular or exophytic, ten perivascular and three peribiliary tumors. The median tumor size was 26 mm (range 14–40 mm). The technical success of the procedure was recorded. Median follow-up, median time to local recurrence, median local tumor progression-free survival (PFS) and complications were recorded.
Technical success was achieved in all the patients. The median follow-up was 10 months (range 2–30 months). The median time to local recurrence and local tumor PFS were 4 months (range 3–4 months) and 7 months (range 3–30 months), respectively. The tumor-related factor that was significantly associated with local PFS was the size. Maximum tumor diameter < 25 mm was significantly associated with local tumor PFS (p = 0.045). Other parameters including tumor location, segmental portal vein thrombosis, baseline alpha-fetoprotein level and underlying etiology did not affect local tumor PFS. Complications were noted in nine patients and were classified as grades 1 and 2. No procedure-related mortality was encountered.
IRE is an effective treatment for ablation of small HCCs. Larger prospective studies with strict selection criteria will establish the safety and efficacy of IRE in the treatment of unresectable HCC in patients who cannot undergo thermal ablation.
KeywordsHepatocellular carcinoma Irreversible electroporation Radiofrequency ablation
Karthik Rayasam and Kiruthika Palani, Residents of the Department of Radiodiagnosis and Imaging helped in data collection.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Procedural informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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