Radiographics 2019 Mar-Apr;39(2):578-595
From the Departments of Radiology (J.C.S., A.P., O.P., M.Q., R.G.M.) and Nuclear Medicine (I.H.), Hospital Italiano, Tte Gral Juan Domingo Perón 4230, C1199ABH CABA, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Transarterial radioembolization (TARE), also called radioembolization or selective internal radiation therapy, is an interventional radiology technique used to treat primary liver tumors and liver metastases. The aim of this therapy is to deliver tumoricidal doses of radiation to liver tumors while selecting a safe radiation dose limit for nontumoral liver and lung tissue. Hence, correct treatment planning is essential to obtaining good results. However, this treatment invariably results in some degree of irradiation of normal liver parenchyma, inducing different radiologic findings that may affect follow-up image interpretation. When evaluating treatment response, the treated area size, tumor necrosis, devascularization, and changes seen at functional MRI must be taken into account. Unlike with other interventional procedures, with TARE, it can take several months for the tumor response to become evident. Ideally, responding lesions will show reduced size and decreased enhancement 3-6 months after treatment. In addition, during follow-up, there are many imaging findings related to the procedure itself (eg, peritumoral edema, inflammation, ring enhancement, hepatic fibrosis, and capsular retraction) that can make image interpretation and response evaluation difficult. Possible complications, either hepatic or extrahepatic, also can occur and include biliary injuries, hepatic abscess, radioembolization-induced liver disease, and radiation pneumonitis or dermatitis. A complete understanding of these possible posttreatment changes is essential for correct radiologic interpretations during the follow-up of patients who have undergone TARE. RSNA, 2019.