Successful treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma with percutaneous ethanol injection therapy and local hyperthermia

Hepatogastroenterology. 2002 Nov-Dec;49(48):1666-8.


The patient K.I., a 72-year-old male, was admitted to Nishide Hospital in July 1999 for hemodialysis treatment of end-stage chronic renal failure. At the time of his admission, an ultrasound examination of the patient's liver revealed a large mass in the S5-S8 segment. A hepatocellular carcinoma was suspected from the characteristic mosaic pattern seen with ultrasound and the elevation of alpha-fetoprotein in the serum. The patient's condition was considered to be medically inoperable, due to the patient's adaptation to hemodialysis. Furthermore, transcatheter arterial embolization was not indicated due to the patient's history of hypersensitivity to roentgen-contrast materials. An attempt to palliate the malignancy was made with a combination of local hyperthermia and percutaneous ethanol injection therapy. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed that the tumor structure had changed after 10 days of percutaneous ethanol injection therapy and that 2 months later the tumor size had decreased by about 50%. Moreover, the alpha-fetoprotein level had returned to normal by that time. In addition, this treatment did not cause any disturbance in the liver function. The patient tolerated treatment well. A combined treatment of local hyperthermia with percutaneous ethanol injection therapy appears to be useful in the management of hepatocellular carcinomas, especially in cases in which more aggressive treatment is not acceptable.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / complications
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / diagnostic imaging
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / therapy*
  • Embolization, Therapeutic*
  • Ethanol / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Liver Neoplasms / complications
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Liver Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Male
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Ethanol