Objective: To evaluate Bletilla striata as a vascular embolizing agent in interventional treatment of primary hepatic carcinoma.
Methods: We made a vascular embolizing agent from a Chinese medicinal herb, Bletilla striata (bai ji). From October 1991 to January 1995, 56 patients with primary hepatic carcinoma were treated by hepatic arterial chemoembolization with Bletilla striata angioembolus, and 50 patients with primary hepatic carcinoma who were treated by conventional gelfoam embolization served as controls. All patients were followed up for 10-48 months.
Results: Embolization with the Bletilla striata powder produced extensive and permanent vascular obstruction, resulting in marked shrinkage of the tumor and significant decrease of serum alpha fetoprotein (AFP) level. After embolization, less collateral circulation formed later. The treatment interval was prolonged to an average of 7 months. The 1-, 2- and 3-year survival rates were 81.9%, 44.9%, and 33.6%, respectively, with a mean survival period of 19.8 months. All the clinical parameters were better than those in the control group treated by conventional gelfoam embolization.
Conclusion: Bletilla striata angioembolus is a good vascular embolizing agent for treating PHC.