Objective: We evaluated the efficacy of contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (US), compared with contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT), for early assessments after transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) for the treatment of hypervascular hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) lesions.
Subjects and methods: Thirty-two patients with 59 HCC lesions who were scheduled to receive TACE were enrolled in this prospective study. TACE was performed by injecting a mixture of iodized oil and miriplatin hydrate, followed by a gelatin sponge. Digital subtraction angiography (DSA) and/or contrast-enhanced CT were performed 2-6 months after TACE and were used as the reference standard for residual HCC; the detection rates for residual viable HCC using contrast-enhanced US with a perflubutane-based contrast agent and a high mechanical index (MI) mode performed one day after TACE were also compared with those obtained using contrast-enhanced CT performed one month after TACE. The comparisons were made using the McNemar test.
Results: Forty-seven (79.7%) of the 59 HCC lesions were diagnosed as having residual viability based on DSA and contrast-enhanced CT findings obtained 2-6 months after TACE. Eight (17.0%) of the 47 HCC lesions that were diagnosed as having residual viability using one-day contrast-enhanced US were not detected using one-month contrast-enhanced CT because of artifacts produced by the high attenuation of the iodized oil. The detection rate for residual HCC lesions using one-day contrast-enhanced US (95.7%, 45/47) was significantly higher than that using one-month contrast-enhanced CT (78.7%, 37/47) (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Contrast-enhanced US performed one day after TACE is more sensitive than contrast-enhanced CT performed one month after TACE for detecting residual viable HCC.
Keywords: Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Transarterial chemoembolization.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.