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Lung India Official publication of Indian Chest Society  
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 169-172

Acute lung injury following transcatheter hepatic arterial chemoembolization of doxorubicin-loaded LC beads in a patient with hepatocellular carcinoma

Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Brooklyn Hospital Center, NY, USA

Correspondence Address:
Ihsan Khan
Brooklyn Hospital Center, 121 DeKalb Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-2113.95335

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Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) currently is being used as an effective palliative therapy for unresectable cancers especially hepatocelluar carcinoma (HCC). Accidental lipiodol embolism to the lungs is a rare but potentially fatal complication of TACE. This procedure involves injection of drug-eluting microspheres (LC Bead) loaded with doxorubicin, followed by embolization with embozene microspheres until stasis is evident, being used in advanced HCC. We report a patient with inoperable HCC with underlying Hepatitis C and liver cirrhosis, who developed acute lung injury following targeted chemoembolization of selective feeding hepatic artery with LC beads loaded with doxorubicin. Acute lung injury as a complication of unintended lung chemoembolization with doxorubicin has not been previously reported in the literature. Interventional radiologists screen patients for potential hepatic A-V shunt and take appropriate precautions to prevent unintended pulmonary embolization. These include appropriate selection of LC bead particle size especially in patients who are embolized with radiation pellets. This report highlights the need for a screening total body scintigraphy after injection of radionuclide Tc-99 MAA in the feeding hepatic artery to identify patients with hepatic A-V shunt. In such patients, appropriate size selection of LC bead particles is critical to prevent unintended pulmonary chemoembolization and acute lung injury. Other measures include careful patient selection, low dose of chemotherapy, and transient selective hepatic vein balloon occlusion.

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