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Radiology. 1987 Apr;163(1):43-8.

Small hepatocellular carcinoma: intratumor ethanol treatment using new needle and guidance systems.


Intratumor injection of absolute ethanol to treat small hepatocellular carcinoma sometimes results in incomplete necrosis of the tumor. Causes of this include inhomogeneous distribution of the ethanol and difficulty in identifying the tumor after previous ethanol injections. To solve these problems, the authors designed a multiple-side-hole needle for ethanol injection and implanted one or more small steel coils into the tumor before treatment to serve as a landmark. Six patients thus treated all showed adequate necrosis on follow-up computed tomography, biopsy, and angiography studies; initially elevated serum alpha-fetoprotein levels present in five patients were decreased. A resected surgical specimen obtained in one patient showed extensive necrosis of the tumor as well as of the surrounding healthy liver; only a small locus of equivocally viable cancer cells remained in the tumor margin.

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