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Liver abscess following transarterial chemoembolization for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma: A retrospective analysis of 23 cases


1 Department of Interventional Radiology, No. 2 People's Hospital of Changzhou, Nanjing Medical University, Changzhou 213003; Department of Interventional Radiology, People's 10th Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing Medical University, Shanghai 200072, China
2 Department of Radiology and Interventional Radiology, Lishui Central Hospital, Lishui, China
3 Department of Interventional Radiology, People's 10th Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing Medical University, Shanghai 200072, China
4 Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida 32224, USA
5 Department of Interventional Radiology, First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325000, China

Correspondence Address:
Maoquan Li,
Department of Interventional Radiology, People's 10th Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing Medical University, Shanghai 200072
China
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Objective: To investigate the incidence, management, and outcome of a liver abscess after transarterial embolization/chemoembolization (TAE/TACE) therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Materials and Methods: From May 2007 to May 2014, all patients complicated with liver abscess following TAE/TACE for HCC were identified and analyzed at four medical centers. Results: During the study period, a total of 6984 TAE/TACE procedures were performed among 3129 patients, and a total of 23 patients developed liver abscess with the incidence of 0.33% (23/6984) per procedure. There were 21 males and 2 females, and mean age of 52.1 ± 12.1 years. The mean interval from last TAE/TACE procedure to the diagnosis of liver abscess was 12.9 ± 6.6 days. All the patients received intravenous antibiotics, with ten patients had a percutaneous drain, one each for percutaneous aspiration and surgery. Complications related to the liver abscess were hepatorrhexis and pleural effusion (n = 1), pleural effusion (n = 1), and obstructive jaundice (n = 1), all of which were resolved after conservative treatments. The serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels were significantly reduced at 6 months after treatment (P < 0.01) in 15 patients whose AFP > 400 ng/mL preprocedure. Complete or partial tumor response at 6 months after TAE/TACE was achieved in three and twenty patients, respectively; and 6 months survival was 100%. Conclusions: The incidence of a liver abscess after TAE/TACE is low; antibiotics therapy along was successful in about half patients, and percutaneous abscess aspiration/drainage were necessary in large size abscess and severely symptomatic patients; the outcomes are benign without worsening of the progression of underlying HCC.


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