Implications of Discordant Findings Between Hepatic Angiography and Cross-Sectional Imaging in Transplant Candidates With Hepatocellular Carcinoma

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Abstract

The goal of this study was to determine whether the detection of discordant numbers of hypervascular foci at hepatic angiography versus contrast-enhanced (CE) cross-sectional imaging [computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)] is associated with adverse clinical outcomes in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who are listed for liver transplantation. We retrospectively reviewed the records of 218 consecutive patients with HCC who were listed for a liver transplant and who underwent transarterial chemoembolization at our institution between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2010. Patients were grouped into 3 categories: (1) the number of nodules at CT/MRI was concordant with the number of hypervascular foci detected at angiography (n = 136), (2) the number of nodules at CT/MRI was greater than the number of hypervascular foci at angiography (n = 45), and (3) the number of nodules at CT/MRI was fewer than the number of hypervascular foci at angiography (n = 37). The study outcomes were liver transplantation and tumor recurrence after transplantation. The detection of at least 3 more hypervascular foci at angiography versus the number of HCC nodules on CT/MRI was associated with a significantly lower rate of transplantation [multivariate subhazard ratio (SHR), 0.39; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.17–0.92]. The detection of fewer hypervascular foci at angiography versus the number of HCC nodules on CT/MRI was associated with a significantly higher rate of tumor recurrence after transplantation (multivariate SHR, 3.49; 95% CI, 1.27–9.56). In conclusion, liver transplant candidates with HCC who demonstrate discordant findings between angiography and CE CT or MRI may be at a higher risk for dropout from the transplant list and for tumor recurrence after transplantation. Liver Transpl 21:454–467, 2015. © 2015 AASLD.

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