Objective: To assess the factors affecting patency of the hepatic artery during hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy (HAIC) with an implantable port system inserted percutaneously.
Patients and methods: Ninety patients with malignant hepatic tumours were given HAIC using percutaneous catheter placement. An end-hole catheter was inserted into the hepatic artery (conventional method) in 41 patients. An end-closed and side-hole catheter was used in 49 patients, in which the catheter tip was fixed in the gastroduodenal artery and the side hole was placed in the common hepatic artery (fixed catheter-tip method). The patency of the hepatic artery was evaluated with computed tomography (CT) arteriography using the implantable port system and angiography. Then, the factors affecting hepatic arterial patency were analysed.
Results: Hepatic arterial occlusion was observed in 15 patients (17%). The overall patency of the hepatic artery was 86.9%, 78.4% and 51.5% at 6 months, 1 year and 2 years, respectively. The patency rate of the hepatic artery was significantly higher in patients with catheter placement using fixed catheter-tip method than those using conventional method (P = 0.01), and in patients without transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) prior to catheter placement than those with prior TACE (P = 0.01). When the variables affecting patency of the hepatic artery were studied together by multivariate analyses, the important factors were the method of catheter placement and the presence or absence of prior TACE.
Conclusion: We consider that it is important for long-term patency of the hepatic artery during HAIC to use fixed catheter-tip method for percutaneous catheter placement instead of conventional method, and to select patients without prior TACE.