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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Biomedical Physics and Engineering Express, Volume 4, Issue 3, April 2018, Article number 035039.

The published version is available at Copyright © Nam et al.


Quantitative 2D and 3D contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) was assessed to evaluate early transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) treatment response. Seventeen patients scheduled for TACE for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma participated in the study. 2D and 3D CEUS were performed for each patient at three time points: Prior to TACE, 1-2 weeks post TACE, and 1 month post TACE. Peak-intensities of the tumor and surrounding liver tissue were calculated from 2D and 3D data before and after TACE and used to evaluate tumor treatment response. Residual tumor percentages were calculated from 2D and 3D CEUS acquired 1-2 weeks and 1 month post TACE and compared with results from MRI 1 month post TACE. Nine subjects had complete response while 8 had incomplete response. Peak-intensities of the tumor from 3D CEUS prior to TACE were similar between the complete and incomplete treatment groups (p = 0.70), while 1-2 weeks (p < 0.01) and 1 month post treatment (p < 0.01) were significantly lower in the complete treatment group than in the incomplete treatment group. For 2D CEUS, only the peak-intensity values of the tumor from 1 month post TACE were significantly different (p < 0.01). The correlation coefficients between 2D and 3D residual tumor estimates 1-2 weeks post TACE and the estimates from MRI were 0.73 and 0.94, respectively, while those from 2D and 3D CEUS 1 month post TACE were 0.66 and 0.91, respectively. Quantitative analysis on 2D and 3D CEUS shows potential to differentiate patients with complete versus incomplete response to TACE as early as 1-2 weeks post treatment.

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