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Br J Radiol. 1997 Aug;70(836):823-8.

Tumour-to-normal uptake ratio of 90Y microspheres in hepatic cancer assessed with 99Tcm macroaggregated albumin.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong.


The selective delivery of a high dose of radiation to malignant hepatic tumours by infusion of non-biodegradable yttrium-90 (90Y) microspheres via the hepatic artery while sparing the non-tumorous liver parenchyma depends on the tumour-to-normal uptake ratio (T/N) of the therapeutic radiopharmaceutical. Using intrahepatic arterial technetium-99m macroaggregated albumin (99Tcm-MAA), the effect of tumour type, tumour vascularity assessed by hepatic angiography (HAG), tumour size and the degree of extrahepatic shunting on the T/N was investigated in 377 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and 25 patients with colorectal liver metastases. HCC was shown to have a wider range of T/N (0.2-26.5) compared with liver metastases (2.3-7.2). HCC with vascularity grade 1 on HAG had significantly lower T/N but there was no significant difference in HCC with higher vascularity grades. This confirmed that vascularity on HAG does not predict T/N. Overall there was no correlation between T/N and tumour size. Large tumours (> 20 cm) had a significantly lower T/N, probably due to necrosis in the tumour centres. A decrease in mean T/N with increasing percentages of lung shunting was observed in HCC. Determination of T/N by simulation with 99Tcm-MAA is recommended before internal radiation therapy with 90Y microspheres.

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