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Balloon-Occluded Transcatheter Arterial Chemoembolization (b-TACE) for Hepatocellular Carcinoma Performed with Polyethylene-Glycol Epirubicin-Loaded Drug-Eluting Embolics: Safety and Preliminary Results

  • Lucatelli, Pierleone1
  • Ginnani Corradini, Luca1
  • De Rubeis, Gianluca1
  • Rocco, Bianca1
  • Basilico, Fabrizio1
  • Cannavale, Alessandro1
  • Nardis, Pier Giorgio1
  • Corona, Mario1
  • Saba, Luca2
  • Catalano, Carlo1
  • Bezzi, Mario1
  • 1 Sapienza University of Rome, Vascular and Interventional Radiology Unit, Department of Diagnostic Service, Viale Regina Elena 324, Rome, 00161, Italy , Rome (Italy)
  • 2 Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria (A.O.U.) of Cagliari-Polo di Monserrato, Department of Medical Imaging, Cagliari, Italy , Cagliari (Italy)
Published Article
CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology
Publication Date
Mar 06, 2019
DOI: 10.1007/s00270-019-02192-y
Springer Nature


PurposeTo report technical success, safety profile and oncological results of balloon-occluded transcatheter arterial chemoembolization using a balloon micro-catheter and epirubicin-loaded polyethylene-glycol (PEG) microsphere (100 ± 25 µm and 200 ± 50 µm) in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).Materials and MethodsThis is a single-centre, single-arm, retrospective study with 6-month follow-up. Twenty-two patients (Child–Pugh A 68% [15/22], B in 32% [7/22]; age 67.05 ± 14 years) with 29 HCC were treated in 24 procedures. Technical success is defined: ability to place the balloon micro-catheter within the required vascular segment, balloon-occluded arterial stump pressure drops and assessment of microsphere deposition. Laboratory assessment pre/post-procedural and complications were analysed, respectively, according to Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAEv5) and CIRSE system. Postembolization syndrome (PES) was defined as fever and/or nausea and/or pain onset. Oncological results were evaluated using m-RECIST criteria with CT/MRI imaging at 1 and 3–6 months. In partial responder patients, pre/post-procedural tumour volume was compared.ResultsPre-planned feeder was reached in all cases. Pressure drop average was 51.1 ± 21.6 mmHg. Exclusive target embolization was achieved in 14/24 procedures (58.3%). Laboratory test modifications were all grade 1. 4/24 adverse events occurred (17%): pseudo-aneurysm of the feeder (grade 3), liver abscess (grade 2) and 2 asymptomatic segmentary biliary tree dilatations (grade 2). PES occurred in 8/24 (33%). The complete response at 1 and 3–6 months was 44.8% (13/29) and 52.9% (9/17), respectively. The partial response at 1 and 3–6 months was 55% (16/29) and 4/17 (23.5%), respectively. Among partial responder patients, the average percentage of tumour volume reduction was 64.9 ± 27.3%.ConclusionEpirubicin-loaded PEG microsphere b-TACE is technically feasible, safe and effective procedure for HCC treatment.

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