We present the correlation between radiologic and pathologic findings in HCC patients who underwent radioembolization with yttrium-90 (90Y) microspheres prior to resection or transplantation. Thirty-five patients with a total of 38 lesions who underwent liver explantation after 90Y radioembolization were studied. Imaging surrogates following treatment were evaluated; the explants were examined for assessment of necrosis by pathology. The correlation betwen radiologic and histologic findings of the treated lesions was analyzed. Twenty-three of 38 (61%) target lesions showed complete pathologic necrosis. All target lesions demonstrated some degree of histologic necrosis at explant. Complete histologic necrosis was seen in 89% of lesions with pretreatment size <3 cm. Complete pathologic necrosis was seen in 100%, 78%, and 93% of the lesions that were shown to have complete response by European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) necrosis criteria, partial response by World Health Organizaton (WHO) criteria, or thin rim enhancement on post-treatment imaging, respectively. In contrast, complete pathologic necrosis was seen in only 52% and 38% of the lesions that showed partial response by EASL criteria and peripheral nodular enhancement, respectively. Conclusion: Post-radioembolization imaging findings of response by EASL and WHO criteria are predictive of the degree of pathologic necrosis. Rim enhancement was an imaging characteristic that correlated well with histologic necrosis.
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