Portal vein embolization before liver resection is considered the therapy of choice for patients with inadequate future liver remnants. The concept of radioembolization with Yttrium-90 to achieve the same goal has limited data.
We retrospectively compared patients who underwent portal vein embolization and Yttrium-90 lobectomy before resection of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with chronic liver disease.
Seventy-three percent patients underwent portal vein embolization and 22 patients underwent Yttrium-90. Forty-seven percent of patients before portal vein embolization required additional procedures for tumor control, and 27% of patients after Yttrium-90 required additional procedure to mainly induce further hypertrophy. Both therapies achieved the goal of future liver remnants >40%, but the degree of hypertrophy was significantly higher in Yttrium-90 patients (68% for Yttrium-90, 36% for portal vein embolization, P < .01). Tumor response was significantly better with Yttrium-90, achieving complete response in 50% of patients. Resectability rate was higher after portal vein embolization (85% for portal vein embolization, 64% for Yttrium-90, P = .03). Tumor progression was the most common reason precluding surgery. Complete tumor control was the reason not to pursue surgery in 18% of patients after Yttrium-90.
Both preoperative portal vein embolization and Yttrium-90, increases liver resectability rates by inducing hypertrophy of future liver remnants in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and chronic liver disease. Yttrium-90 lobectomy achieved better tumor control and provided more time to assess therapy response, optimizing the indication for surgery.

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