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Clin Radiol. 2017 Dec;72(12):1002-1013. doi: 10.1016/j.crad.2017.07.021. Epub 2017 Oct 9.

Radioembolisation of hepatocellular carcinoma: a primer.

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Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Singapore.
Department of Nuclear Medicine and PET, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore.
Division of Surgical Oncology, National Cancer Center, Outram Road, Singapore, 169608.
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Singapore. Electronic address:


Transarterial radioembolisation (TARE) has gained increasing acceptance as an additional/alternative locoregional treatment option for hepatocellular carcinoma, and colorectal hepatic metastases that present beyond potentially curative options. This is a catheter-based transarterial selective internal brachytherapy that involves injection of radioactive microspheres (usually Y-90) that are delivered selectively to the liver tumours. Owing to the combined radioactive and microembolic effect, the findings at follow-up imaging are significantly different from that seen with other transarterial treatment options. Considering increasing confidence among clinicians, refinement in techniques and increasing number of ongoing trials, TARE is expected to gain further acceptance and become an important tool in the armamentarium for the treatment of liver malignancies. So it is imperative that all radiologists involved in the management of liver malignancies are well versed with TARE to facilitate appropriate discussion at multidisciplinary meetings to direct further management. In this article, we provide a comprehensive review on various aspects of radioembolisation with Y-90 for hepatocellular carcinoma including the patient selection, treatment planning, radiation dosimetry and treatment, side effects, follow-up imaging and future direction.

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