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Cancer. 1992 Feb 15;69(4):925-9.

Percutaneous ethanol injection in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma in cirrhosis. A study on 207 patients.

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  • 1Servizio di Radiologia, Ospedale Civile, Milano, Italy.


In 207 cirrhotic patient carriers of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI) was administered with ultrasound guidance. The patients were classified as Child's Class A, 136; B, 54; and C, 17. Their mean age was 63.5 years, and the male-female ratio was 3.5:1. There was a single HCC less than 5 cm in diameter in 162 patients; 45 had more than one HCC. The follow-up ranged from 5 to 71 months (mean, 25 months). No noteworthy complications occurred during or after 2485 treatments. The 1-year, 2-year, and 3-year survival percentages (by the Kaplan-Meier method) for the patients with one HCC were 90%, 80%, and 63%, respectively. The corresponding percentages by Child's class were 97%, 92%, and 76% for Class A; 88%, 68%, and 42% for B; and 40%, 0%, and 0% for C. The 1-year, 2-year and 3-year survival rates for patients with more than one HCC were 90%, 67%, and 31% respectively. These results were similar to those found by others and showed that PEI was a safe, reproducible, easy-to-do, and low-cost therapeutic technique. In terms of survival, these PEI results were better than the published results of no treatment and equivalent to those of surgery. In uncontrolled series, bias can play an important role. Therefore, additional trials would be useful.

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