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Eur Radiol. 2000;10(10):1570-5.

Therapeutic effect of transcatheter arterial chemoembolization on hepatocellular carcinoma: evaluation with contrast-enhanced harmonic power Doppler ultrasound.

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  • 1Department of Oncology, University of Pisa, Italy.


The aim of this study was to investigate the usefulness of contrast-enhanced harmonic power Doppler ultrasound (US) for the detection of residual viable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after treatment with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE). Forty-seven patients with 68 HCC lesions 1.8-9.5 cm in diameter (mean +/- SD 4.3 +/- 1.7 cm) underwent contrast-enhanced power Doppler US, in the harmonic mode, before and after treatment with TACE. Unenhanced spiral CT and contrast-enhanced dynamic MR imaging were also performed to help establish the outcome of therapy. Before treatment, intratumoral blood flow signals were detected at contrast-enhanced harmonic power Doppler US in 65 (95%) of 68 lesions. After TACE, flow signals were no longer detectable in 22 of these 65 lesions, which showed complete response at spiral CT and dynamic MR imaging. In 38 (88%) of the 43 lesions with partial response, intratumoral flow signals were still identified at contrast-enhanced harmonic power Doppler US. Twenty-eight of these 38 lesions underwent additional treatment with percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI) using contrast-enhanced harmonic power Doppler US guidance. Complete response was seen after PEI in 23 of 28 lesions. Contrast-enhanced harmonic power Doppler US proved useful for assessing the therapeutic effect of TACE on HCC and for guiding additional treatment with PEI in cases of partial response.

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