Reduction of Hepatopulmonary and Intrahepatic Shunts after Treatment with Sorafenib in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Patients

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Balli H. T., Aikimbaev K., Güney İ. B., Pehlivan U. A., Piskin F. C., Sozutok S.

CARDIOVASCULAR AND INTERVENTIONAL RADIOLOGY, vol.1, no.1, pp.1-4, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 1 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00270-022-03283-z
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-4
  • Keywords: Sorafenib, Hepatocellular carcinoma, Hepatopulmonary shunt, Intrahepatic shunts, Transarterial radioembolization, Yttrium-90
  • Çukurova University Affiliated: Yes


Abstract Purpose To investigate the reduction of elevated shunts after treatment with sorafenib in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients planned for transarterial radioembolization (TARE). Materials and Methods Sixteen HCC patients treated with sorafenib were investigated. Shunts were evaluated by SPECT/CT after Technetium-99 m Tc-macroaggregated albumin injection. Results All patients had high LSF (median 43.5%, range 28–86), and two (12.5%) of them had widespread intrahepatic shunts with concomitants elevated (36%) and acceptable (18%) lung shunt fraction (LSF). The mean duration of the sorafenib use was 134.4 ± 59.2 days.

While one patient (6.25%) developed hand-foot syndrome, minor side effects were seen in all patients. After sorafenib use, LSF fell below 20% in eight patients, and TARE was applied to all of them. There was strong negative correlation between the failure of shunt reduction and presence of macrovascular invasion (q = - 0.775) and infiltrative tumour type (q = - 0.775). Conclusion Sorafenib use may be beneficial in some selected HCC patients with elevated shunts. Expected results may not be obtained in patients with infiltrative tumour type or macrovascular invasion, but patients with nodular tumour type with the absence of macrovascular invasion may be appropriate candidates for shunt reduction with ensuring subsequent TARE. Further investigations with sufficient patient population and standardized protocols of follow-up periods are needed to clarify the values for sorafenib use in HCC patients with evaluated shunts.