Hepatobiliary scintigraphy may improve radioembolization treatment planning in HCC patients

Braat, Manon N G J A, de Jong, Hugo W, Seinstra, Beatrijs A, Scholten, Mike V, van den Bosch, Maurice A A J, Lam, Marnix G E H


EJNMMI physics 7 (1),


BACKGROUND: Routine work-up for transarterial radioembolization, based on clinical and laboratory parameters, sometimes fails, resulting in severe hepatotoxicity in up to 5% of patients. Quantitative assessment of the pretreatment liver function and its segmental distribution, using hepatobiliary scintigraphy may improve patient selection and treatment planning. A case series will be presented to illustrate the potential of this technique. Hepatocellular carcinoma patients with cirrhosis (Child-Pugh A and B) underwent hepatobiliary scintigraphy pre- and 3 months post-radioembolization as part of a prospective study protocol, which was prematurely terminated because of limited accrual. Included patients were analysed together with their clinical, laboratory and treatment data.

RESULTS: Pretreatment-corrected (99m)Tc-mebrofenin liver uptake rates were marginal (1.8-3.0%/min/m(2)), despite acceptable clinical and laboratory parameters. Posttreatment liver functions seriously declined (corrected (99m)Tc-mebrofenin liver uptake rates: 0.6-2.4%/min/m(2)), resulting in lethal radioembolization-induced liver disease in two out of three patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Hepatobiliary scintigraphy may be of added value during work-up for radioembolization, to estimate liver function reserve and its segmental distribution, especially in patients with underlying cirrhosis, for whom analysis of clinical and laboratory parameters may not be sufficient.