Evaluation of arterial embolization therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma by computed tomography

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      Changes in tumor area and the attenuation value determined from computed tomography (CT) slice section of the tumor at its maximum size were investigated in 18 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma who were studied by CT after arterial embolization therapy. The tumor area was reduced in all cases after embolization therapy. Greater than 50% reduction of the tumor area occurred during the follow-up period in 13 cases (87%). In cases evaluated by follow-up CT, the relative attenuation value of tumor to nontumor regions decreased during the initial stage after embolization therapy, but showed a tendency towards greater elevation than in the initial stage, despite tumor reduction. This change in the attenuation value was considered to reflect necrosis and shrinkage of the tumor after embolization therapy. The absence of such changes in nontumor regions supports the use of arterial embolization therapy as an effective, conservative treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma. Follow-up examination by CT of hepatocellular carcinoma after embolization therapy contributes to the posttherapeutic evaluation of tumors and to the determination of the appropriate time for reembolization therapy.


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