Interventional Radiology - Original Article

Antireflux catheter improves tumor targeting in liver radioembolization with resin microspheres


  • Philippe d’Abadie
  • Stephan Walrand
  • Pierre Goffette
  • Nadia Amini
  • Aline van Maanen
  • Renaud Lhommel
  • François Jamar

Received Date: 01.10.2020 Accepted Date: 19.02.2021 Diagn Interv Radiol 2021;27(6):768-773


We aimed to determine whether antireflux (ARC) catheter may result in better tumor targeting in liver radioembolization using 90Y-resin microspheres.


Patients treated with resin microspheres for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and secondary liver malignancies were retrospectively analyzed. All patients underwent a 99mTc-macroaggregated albumin (99mTc-MAA) single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) following the planning arteriography with a conventional end-hole catheter. For 90Y-microspheres injection, two groups were defined depending on the type of catheter used: an ARC group (n=38) and a control group treated with a conventional end-hole catheter (n=23). 90Y positron emission tomography computed tomography (PET/CT) was performed after the therapeutic arteriography. The choice of the catheter was not randomized, but left to the choice of the interventional radiologist. 99mTc-MAA SPECT and 90Y PET/CT were co-registered with the baseline imaging to determine a tumor to normal liver ratio (T/NL[MAA or 90Y]) and tumor dose (TD[MAA or 90Y]) for the planning and therapy.


Overall, 38 patients (115 lesions) and 23 patients (75 lesions) were analyzed in the ARC and control groups, respectively. In the ARC group, T/NL90Y and TD90Y were significantly higher than T/NLMAA and TDMAA. Median (IQR) T/NL90Y was 2.16 (2.15) versus 1.74 (1.43) for T/NLMAA (p < 0.001). Median (IQR) TD90Y was 90.96 Gy (98.31 Gy) versus 73.72 Gy (63.82 Gy) for TDMAA (p < 0.001). In this group, the differences were highly significant for neuroendocrine metastases (NEM) and HCC and less significant for colorectal metastases (CRM). In the control group, no significant differences were demonstrated.


The use of an ARC significantly improves tumor deposition in liver radioembolization with resin microspheres.