Hong Kong Med J 2003;9:457-60 | Number 6, December 2003
Rare pulmonary complications after transarterial chemoembolisation for hepatocellular carcinoma: two case reports
PCH Kwok, TW Lam, CL Lam, AKH Lai, HY Lo, SCH Chan
Department of Radiology and Imaging, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, 30 Gascoigne Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong
We report two rare cases of acute pulmonary complication after transarterial chemoembolisation for inoperable hepatocellular carcinoma. Both cases involved a large tumour and hepatic vein invasion. The first patient, a 27-year-old man, died of pulmonary tumour embolism 4 days after transarterial chemoembolisation. Acute dyspnoea developed in the second patient, a 63-year-old man, following the procedure due to pulmonary oil embolisation and chemical pneumonitis. The chest condition of this patient improved, but he subsequently died of liver failure 3 weeks later. Our cases illustrate the point that if locoregional treatment is offered as a palliative treatment, patients with hepatic vein invasion should be warned of the possible complications of massive tumour embolism, pulmonary oil embolisation, and subsequent death.
Key words: Carcinoma, hepatocellular; Chemoembolization, therapeutic; Complications; Hepatic veins
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