Gut Liver.  2010 Sep;4(Suppl 1):S105-S112.

Is Percutaneous Ethanol Injection Therapy Still Effective for Hepatocellular Carcinoma in the Era of Radiofrequency Ablation?

  • 1Department of Radiology, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.


Percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI) therapy has been replaced by more-effective thermal ablation techniques that have lower local recurrence rates. However, PEI therapy remains useful in certain settings. Since PEI can be performed in any portion of the liver, PEI therapy can be valuable when tumors are located in close proximity to intestinal loops or other positions that are risky for thermal local ablative techniques. PEI therapy is also valuable in other situations where radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is difficult, including technically difficult masses that are not detected with ultrasound (US), are located in the hepatic dome, in the subcapsular area, and exophytically, or are surrounded by large vessels. PEI therapy contributes to combination therapy with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization or RFA in advanced-stage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and also to the treatment of large HCC or extrahepatic metastasis from HCC. These roles of PEI therapy should be stressed for the treatment of HCCs in appropriate clinical situations. This comprehensive review of articles related to PEI therapy illustrates the recent role and indications of this therapy, which is currently valuable for HCC in the era of RFA.


Hepatocellular carcinoma; Local ablation therapy; Percutaneous ethanol injection therapy
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