Digestive Disease Interventions 2023; 07(02): 128-137
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-1761632
Review Article

Complications of Transcatheter Arterial Chemoembolization for Treatment of Primary Liver Cancer

1   Division of Interventional Radiology, Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Christopher Gustafson
2   Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Philip D. Orons
1   Division of Interventional Radiology, Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
› Author Affiliations


Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) is the standard practice in treating both primary and metastatic liver neoplasms. TACE is a practical, minimally invasive procedure involving the delivery of chemotherapeutic agents into the artery supplying a tumor while simultaneously embolizing its blood supply. This approach can be used for curative and palliative intent across multiple cancer types. Historically, TACE has been instrumental in the treatment algorithms for hepatocellular carcinoma, allowing patients with unresectable disease to be downstaged and to slow disease progression, affording opportunities for transplantation and increased survival. Although benefits of TACE include lower morbidity and mortality versus systemic chemotherapy and surgical approaches, the procedure has risks and complications. Interventional radiologists and physicians involved in the care of these patients should be aware of the associated complications including avoidance and treatment strategies.

Publication History

Received: 01 December 2022

Accepted: 22 December 2022

Article published online:
13 February 2023

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