Korean J Gastroenterol.  2020 Jun;75(6):351-355. 10.4166/kjg.2020.75.6.351.

Gallbladder Perforation after Transarterial Chemoembolization in a Patient with a Huge Hepatocellular Carcinoma

  • 1Departments of Internal Medicine, Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea
  • 2Departments of Radiology, Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea


Transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) is a common treatment for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The most common complications after TACE are non-specific symptoms called post-embolization syndrome, such as abdominal pain or fever. Rare complications, such as liver failure, liver abscess, sepsis, pulmonary embolism, cholecystitis, can also occur. On the other hand, gallbladder perforation is quite rare. This paper reports a case of gallbladder perforation following TACE. A 76-year-old male with a single 9-cm-sized HCC underwent TACE. Five days after TACE, he developed persistent right upper quadrant pain and ileus. An abdomen CT scan confirmed gallbladder perforation with bile in the right paracolic gutter and pelvic cavity. Percutaneous transhepatic gallbladder drainage was performed with the intravenous administration of antibiotics. After 1 month, the patient underwent right hemihepatectomy and cholecystectomy. Physicians should consider the possibility of gallbladder perforation, which is a rare complication after TACE, when unexplained abdominal pain persists.


Gallbladder; Rupture; Chemoembolization, therapeutic; Carcinoma, hepatocellular
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