The aim of the study was to evaluate the association between baseline Lipiodol uptake in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) with early tumor recurrence, and to identify a threshold baseline uptake value predicting tumor response. A single-institution retrospective database of HCC treated with Lipiodol-TACE was reviewed. Forty-six tumors in 30 patients treated with a Lipiodol-chemotherapy emulsion and no additional particle embolization were included. Baseline Lipiodol uptake was measured as the mean Hounsfield units (HU) on a CT within one week after TACE. Washout rate was calculated dividing the difference in HU between the baseline CT and follow-up CT by time (HU/month). Cox proportional hazard models were used to correlate baseline Lipiodol uptake and other variables with tumor response. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was used to identify the optimal threshold for baseline Lipiodol uptake predicting tumor response. During the follow-up period (mean 5.6 months), 19 (41.3%) tumors recurred (mean time to recurrence = 3.6 months). In a multivariate model, low baseline Lipiodol uptake and higher washout rate were significant predictors of early tumor recurrence (P = 0.001 and < 0.0001, respectively). On ROC analysis, a threshold Lipiodol uptake of 270.2 HU was significantly associated with tumor response (95% sensitivity, 93% specificity). Baseline Lipiodol uptake and washout rate on follow-up were independent predictors of early tumor recurrence. A threshold value of baseline Lipiodol uptake > 270.2 HU was highly sensitive and specific for tumor response. These findings may prove useful for determining subsequent treatment strategies after Lipiodol TACE.
- hepatocellular carcinoma
- transarterial chemoembolization
- tumor response
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging