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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1990 Dec;155(6):1221-6.

Percutaneous ethanol injection therapy of hepatocellular carcinoma: analysis of 77 patients.

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Second Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Japan.


Although sonographically guided percutaneous ethanol injection therapy has been attracting a great deal of attention in the treatment of liver neoplasms, few reports regarding long-term results of this therapy have been published. We report here our 4-year experience, in which ethanol injection was performed 419 times on 108 lesions in 77 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. Histopathologic examination performed in 14 cases after the therapy revealed that the lesion was completely necrotic in 10 cases, 90% necrotic in three cases, and 70% necrotic in the remaining case. Angiography performed after the therapy showed complete disappearance of tumor stain in 37 of 42 cases treated with ethanol injection. CT after the therapy showed no enhancement of the treated lesion in 55 of 56 cases. Elevated serum levels of alpha-fetoprotein decreased in 21 of 24 cases. Ethanol injection improved the long-term prognosis of the patients. Among the 50 patients in whom there were three or fewer lesions and all lesions were treated by ethanol injection, the 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-year survival rates were 89%, 74%, 68%, and 60%, respectively. Factors that significantly affected the prognosis were the goal of the treatment, liver function, and size of the largest lesion. Serious complications rarely occurred even in patients with severe liver dysfunction. Percutaneous ethanol injection therapy appears to be valuable for treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma.

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