Percutaneous Ethanol Injection (PEI)
Percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI) is used to treat unresectable Hepatocellular
Carcinoma (HCC) that is confined to the liver. It is not an effective
treatment for metastatic liver cancer. PEI is used to treat single lesions
less than 5 cm (about 2 inches) in diameter or two to three tumors each
less than 4 cm in diameter.
performed as an outpatient procedure and requires two or three treatments
each week for a total of six to eight treatments for each lesion. Using
ultrasound, the tumor is located and absolute ethanol is injected into
a tumor. Each lesion is injected with an average of 4-10 ml (1-2 teaspoons)
of ethanol. This causes necrosis (death) of the tumor mass.
pain at the injection site is common with patients treated with PEI,
but the more serious complications of intraperitoneal hemorrhage, hepatic
insufficiency, bile duct necrosis, hepatic infarction, and transient
hypotension are infrequent.
Time and Lifestyle Changes
time is short due to the lack of complications. However, patient compliance
is challenging because of the need for six to eight treatments per lesion.
study looking at treatment effectiveness was performed with 162 patients,
all of which had one solitary tumor less than 5 cm in diameter. Patient
survival was 90% at one year and 63% at three years. Treatment seems
to be less effective when patients have more than one tumor.
a safe, effective treatment for patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
Complications following treatment are minimal.
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| Last modified: Friday, October 10, 2003