Learn more about the benefits of registering on the new BJS website

Systematic review of transarterial embolization for hepatocellular adenomas. BJS 2017; 104: 823-835.

Published: 18th May 2017

Authors: B. V. van Rosmalen, R. J. S. Coelen, M. Bieze, O. M. van Delden, J. Verheij, C. H. C. Dejong et al.


Hepatocellular adenoma (HCA) larger than 5 cm in diameter is considered an indication for elective surgery, because of the risk of haemorrhage and malignant transformation. Transarterial embolization (TAE) is used to manage bleeding HCA and occasionally to reduce tumour size. TAE might have potential as an elective therapy, but its current role in this context is uncertain. This systematic review provides an overview of clinical outcomes after TAE, in bleeding and non‐bleeding HCA.


Two independent reviewers performed a systematic search of literature in PubMed and Embase. Outcomes were change in tumour size, avoidance of surgery, complications and malignant transformation after TAE in bleeding and non‐bleeding HCA. The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme tool for cohort studies was used for quality assessment of included studies.


From 320 potential articles, 20 cohort studies and 20 case reports including 851 patients met the inclusion criteria. TAE was performed in 151 of 851 patients (17·7 per cent), involving 196 tumours, of which 95 (48·5 per cent) were non‐bleeding. Surgical treatment was avoided in 68 of 151 patients (45·0 per cent). Elective TAE was performed in 49 patients involving 66 HCAs, with 41 of these patients (84 per cent) not requiring surgery. Major complications occurred in eight of 151 patients (5·3 per cent); no death was reported. Among cohort studies, complete tumour disappearance was observed in 10 per cent of patients, and regression in 75 per cent.


Acute or elective TAE in the management of HCA is safe. In the elective setting, TAE provides a potential alternative to surgery.

Full text

Your comments