Chemoembolisation of Hepatic Tumours: Changes in Platelet Count, Haemoglobin, and Creatinine Postembolisation

PL Munk, SGF Ho, GM Legiehn, MJ Lee, DC Morris

Hong Kong J Radiol 2002;5:14-8

Objective: To determine the frequency and magnitude of decreases in renal function, haemoglobin levels, and platelet count after chemoembolisation in patients with liver tumours.

Materials and Methods: Eighteen patients with a mean age of 59 years (range, 37 to 78 years) were entered in this retrospective study. A total of 28 chemoembolisations were carried out. Eight patients had hepatomas while 10 patients had metastatic disease. Laboratory values for creatinine, platelet count, and haemoglobin were obtained between 3 and 5 days postembolisation (mean 3.2 days), and compared with immediate pre-embolisation values (< 36 hours before). In all instances values were within the normal range pre-embolisation.

Results: Creatinine increased by a mean of 51 μmol/L (range, 5 to 326 μmol/L) with values above the normal range in 17/28 embolisations. Platelet count decreased by a mean of 27% (range, -55% to +78%), falling below normal values in 3/28 cases. A mean decrease in haemoglobin of 20 g/L (range, -43 to +8 g/L) was observed, with values below the normal range in 7/28 cases.

Conclusion: A significant decrease in renal function, as reflected by increased creatinine levels, was observed (p < 0.05). A fall in platelet and haemoglobin levels was encountered frequently in patients postchemoembolisation. All values returned to pre-embolisation levels within 4 weeks of chemoembolisation.