Watch this session on ECR Live: Friday, March 8, 08:30–10:00, Room F1
There are a wide range of treatment options available when dealing with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), ranging from interventional and endovascular procedures to surgical interventions such as liver transplantation. The main reason for performing endovascular procedures when treating patients with hepatocellular carcinoma is the fact that liver neovascular networks are nourished exclusively by the arteries.
Liver tumours, both primary and metastatic, are almost entirely supplied by branches known as neo-vessels, which originate in the hepatic arteries. The surrounding peritumoural liver parenchyma is vascularised mainly by portal vein branches. When an HCC is larger than two centimetres in diameter the afferent vessel can be identified and then targeted via an arterial endovascular approach. These unique characteristics – dual vascular supply and the ability to identify the afferent vessels – are the rationale behind the use of endovascular treatments, and several different techniques have been developed over the last 30 years. Among the most frequently used are the infusion of chemotherapy and the introduction of particles, either as occluding devices or as carriers of an active agent, which attacks the tumoural cells and surrounding neovessels.