Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a standard therapy for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with 3 or fewer tumors of up to 3 cm (early-stage HCC); when RFA is unsuccessful or unfeasible, transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) has often been performed. However, little information about the outcome of TACE for early-stage HCC has been reported and it is hard to decide whether to perform additional treatment following TACE in these difficult conditions. The aim of this study was to determine the risk factors for local or intrahepatic distant recurrence after TACE in early-stage HCC. Among 1,560 newly diagnosed HCC patients who were admitted to Okayama University Hospital, 43 patients with early-stage HCC who received only TACE in at least one nodule were enrolled in this study. We analyzed the risk factors for local and distant recurrence by the Cox proportional hazard model. The local recurrence rates and intrahepatic distant recurrence rates at 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year were 18.6, 33.4, and 61.8%, and 2.8, 2.8, and 10.2%, respectively. Among 12 parameters examined as possible risk factors for recurrence, heterogeneous Lipiodol uptake (risk ratio 3.38; 95% confidence interval 1.14-10.60) and high serum des-gamma-carboxy prothrombin (DCP) (2.58; 1.03-7.14) were significantly correlated with local recurrence, and the presence of multiple tumors (10.64; 1.76-93.75) was significantly correlated with intrahepatic distant recurrence. Heterogeneous Lipiodol uptake, high serum DCP, and multiple tumors are risk factors for recurrence in patients with early-stage HCC who have undergone palliative TACE.
Journal of Gastroenterology
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