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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2017 Mar 20. doi: 10.1111/apt.14044. [Epub ahead of print]

Systematic review: benefits and harms of transarterial embolisation for treating hepatocellular adenoma.

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Department of Interventional Surgery, Affiliated Tumor Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, China.
Department of Anesthesia, Affiliated Tumor Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, China.
Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
Department of Mathematics, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Affiliated Tumor Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, China.



Transarterial embolisation (TAE) is a standard treatment for bleeding hepatocellular adenoma (HCA) and, occasionally, symptomatic HCA involving large tumours. Whether TAE is similarly safe and effective as an elective treatment for bleeding and nonbleeding HCA remains unclear.


To investigate the benefits and harms of TAE for bleeding and nonbleeding HCA.


PubMed, Scopus, Embase and Cochrane Library databases were systematically searched for studies that examined post-TAE tumour reduction in patients with bleeding or nonbleeding HCA and that were published between January 2000 and January 2017.


Systematic review of 21 case series involving 1468 patients with HCA in the systematic review identified 140 (9.5%) patients with 189 lesions who received TAE. Of these 140 patients, 66.4% had bleeding HCA and 33.6% had nonbleeding HCA. Intended elective TAE was performed in 27.1% of patients (38.6% of HCA lesions). Adenomatosis was observed in 6.1% of patients, and the rate of β-catenin expression was 4.5%. No malignant transformation was observed among the 189 tumours during a median follow-up time of 40 months. The complete response rate among 70 patients was 10.6%, and the partial response rate was 71.7%. No mortality or severe adverse side effects were reported during the hospitalisation period.


The available evidence suggests that TAE can be considered safe for elective managment of HCA as well as for management of bleeding HCA. Elective TAE can be regarded as a reasonable alternative to surgery. High-quality prospective studies with long-term follow-up are needed to corroborate and strengthen available evidence.

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