Angiographic considerations in patients undergoing liver-directed therapy

J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2005 Jul;16(7):911-35. doi: 10.1097/01.RVI.0000164324.79242.B2.


The rapid evolution and increasing complexity of liver-directed therapies has forced the medical community to further advance its understanding of hepatic arterial anatomy. The anatomy of the mesenteric system, and particularly the hepatic arterial bed, has been demonstrated to have a high degree of variation. This is important when considering presurgical planning, catheterization, and transarterial hepatic therapies. Although anatomic variants have been well described, the characterization and understanding of regional hepatic perfusion is also required to optimize endovascular therapy and intervention. Although this is true for patients undergoing bland embolization or chemoembolization, drug delivery, and hepatic infusional pump therapy, it is particularly true for intraarterial brachytherapy. The purpose of this review is to provide historical perspective in angiographic aspects of liver-directed therapy, as well as a discussion of normal vascular anatomy, commonly encountered variants, and factors involved in changes to regional perfusion in the presence of liver tumors. Methods of optimizing the safety and efficacy of liver-directed therapies with use of percutaneous techniques will be discussed. This review is based on the experience gained in treating more than 500 patients with transarterial liver-directed therapies. Although the principles described in this article apply to all liver-directed therapies such as chemoembolization and administration of drug-coated microspheres, they apply particularly to intraarterial brachytherapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiography / methods*
  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction
  • Chemoembolization, Therapeutic
  • Hepatic Artery / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Liver / blood supply*