Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Hepatol. 1998 Dec;29(6):953-9.

Arterial chemoembolization before liver transplantation in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma: marked tumor necrosis, but no survival benefit?

Author information

  • 1Klinik für Abdominal- und Transplantationschirurgie, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Germany. Oldhafer@Tx-Amb.MH-Hannover.DE



Hepatic artery chemoembolization was introduced in the treatment of patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma waiting for liver transplantation. The rationale for this preoperative treatment was to control tumor growth during the waiting period and to improve long-term survival. This study aimed to investigate whether preoperative chemoembolization not only induces marked tumor necrosis but also has a survival benefit.


In this study 21 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma who underwent pretransplant chemoembolization (group I) were compared with 21 historical control patients (group II) without preoperative chemoembolization in a case-control study. The number of pretransplant chemoembolizations in each patient in group I varied between 1 and 5 with a mean of 2.44+/-1.15. In addition, six patients of this group received preoperative systemic chemotherapy.


Overall, there were no differences in survival between the groups with and without pretransplant chemoembolization at 1 year (60.8% vs 61.5%) and at 3 years (48.4% vs 53.9%). In group I, three patients developed unexplained severe pneumonia, leading to death very early after liver transplantation. Marked tumor necrosis (>50%) was found in 14 cases in group I. In 6 out of these 14 patients, total tumor necrosis was observed.


Although preoperative chemoembolization or chemotherapy induced marked tumor necrosis, these patients showed no benefit in survival compared to historical controls, and appeared to be at higher risk of developing immediate postoperative infective complications.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center