Aim: To reduce the possibility of gastroduodenal complications. The purpose of this retrospective study was to survey the literature and compare and discuss the incidence of post-transarterial embolization (TAE) gastroduodenal complications. Methods: We found reports describing 280 cases of hepatocellular carcinoma with TAE procedures done during the past 4 years and selected all of them for our study. Amongst these cases, 86 were suspected of suffering gastroduodenal complications within one month of post-TAE treatment. Fifteen of these cases were proved by pan-endoscopy to have gastroduodenal erosions or ulcerations. We reviewed the angiographic pictures in patient records to evaluate the possibility that anatomic and technical skill factors could explain the complications. Results: Amongst the 15 cases, 9 were primary lesions of the antrum and prepylorus; 4 had duodenal ulcer or erosions; 2 had mid-body lesions; none showed a lesion at the fundus or cardia region. Three cases had not received TAEs using our ideal method, and may be associated with possible regurgitation of gel-foam pieces into the right or left gastric arteries. Two cases involved sub-selective embolization at a distal point on the hepatic artery; one case was found by angiography to have complete occlusion of the celiac trunk. Conclusion: Comparing our results with past cases of post-TAE gastroduodenal complications, we surmise that our relatively low incidence (5.3%) of gastric complications might be explained by our concerted efforts to improve our technical skills in multi-sequential, selective and super-selective approaches to the embolization of tumor vessels.
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