• hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC);
  • interventional ultrasound;
  • liver;
  • percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI)

Abstract Percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI) was applied to 120 lesions in 95 patients with hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) smaller than 3 cm in the past 6 years. All main target tumours, in 67 patients who had been followed by sonography for more than 6 months after PEI, decreased in size; 28 tumours (41.8%) became undetectable and have remained so until now. The 1-, 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-year survival rates calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method were 93%, 81%, 65%, 52% and 28% respectively. These survival rates were better than those of patients with HCC smaller than 3 cm who did not receive anticancer treatment (P <0.01). The survival of patients of the Child's A or Child's B status was better than that of those with Child's C disease. Recurrence occurred in areas within the liver different from the original lesion in 34% in one year, 61% in two years and 66% in three years after PEI. PEI was then repeated in 61% of such patients.