Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
Interventional Radiology - Original Article

The effect of using different embolic agents on survival in transarterial chemoembolization of hepatocellular carcinoma: gelfoam versus polyvinyl alcohol


Department of Radiology, Pamukkale University School of Medicine, Denizli, Turkey


Department of Radiology, Dokuz Eylül University School of Medicine, İzmir, Turkey


Department of General Surgery , Dokuz Eylül University School of Medicine, İzmir, Turkey

Diagn Interv Radiol 2014; 20: 323-329
DOI: 10.5152/dir.2014.13462
Read: 550 Downloads: 188 Published: 03 September 2019



We aimed to compare the effect of using different embolic agents such as gelfoam and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) on survival, tumor response, and complications in transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients.



We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 38 inoperable HCC patients who underwent TACE between August 1998 and April 2007. A total of 50 TACE sessions were performed using PVA (n=18) or gelfoam particles (n=20), following the application of 60 mg doxorubicin with 10–20 mL lipiodol emulsion. The PVA and gelfoam groups were compared based on clinical, laboratory, and demographic variables. Survival rates were calculated starting from the first TACE session using the Kaplan-Meier analysis.



There was no significant difference between the survival rates of PVA and gelfoam groups (P = 0.235). Overall survival rates at 12, 24, 36, 48, and 60 months were 55%, 36%, 15%, 7%, and 5%, respectively. Tumor response, age, lipiodol accumulation type, number of HCC foci, complications, and serum alpha-fetoprotein level were significant factors for survival in all patients.



Use of gelfoam or PVA as the embolic agent did not have a significant impact on survival. Complete tumor response, intensive lipiodol accumulation in tumor, older age (>60 years), fewer (≤3) HCC foci, and low serum alpha-fetoprotein level (≤400 ng/mL) were found to improve cumulative survival significantly.



EISSN 1305-3612