Introduction: Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most frequent primary malignant tumor of the liver, being linked in 80% of cases with viral hepatitis ”B” or “C”. Treatment remains a challenge especially in cases with associated hepatic cirrhosis, where preoperative arterial chemoembolization followed by liver resection is recommended.
Case report: We discuss the case of a 64 years old cirrhotic patient, diagnosed by echography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance cholangiography with hepatocellular carcinoma (64x52x46 mm). Preoperative chemoembolization was performed with Lipiodol and 5-FU by supra-selective catheterization of left hepatic artery, followed by favorable radiologic response. Two weeks after embolization, the patient was admitted in Surgical Clinic No. 1 Targu Mures where an atypical resection of the left hepatic lobe (bisegmentectomy II-III) was performed with Harmonic Scalpel. Early and late postoperative evolution was favorable.
Discussions: The principle of arterial chemoembolization is based on the fact that vasculature of primary hepatic tumors is predominantly arterial. Arterial obstruction may lead to ischemic necrosis while tumor embolization combination with a chemotherapeutic agent significantly improves its local concentration. Decrease in tumor size and its vasculature allows for safe hepatic resection especially in the cirrhotic liver.
Conclusion: In case of tumoral cirrhotic liver preoperative chemoembolization decreases intra and postoperative bleeding risk, providing a safe and oncological resection.
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