Transarterial versus Transhepatic Portal Vein Embolization to Induce Selective Hepatic Hypertrophy: A Comparative Study in Swine

David C. Madoff, Sanjay Gupta, Edmund P. Pillsbury, Zuxing Kan, Peggy T. Tinkey, L. Clifton Stephens, Joe E. Ensor, Marshall E. Hicks, Kenneth C. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Purpose: Portal vein embolization (PVE) is used to induce liver hypertrophy for surgical candidates with marginal future liver remnant (FLR) volumes. We compared the feasibility, safety, and effectiveness of a transarterial approach for PVE (TA-PVE) with those of a transhepatic approach for PVE (TH-PVE) in a swine model. Materials and methods: Ten experimental pigs (TA-PVE, n = 5; TH-PVE, n = 5) and six controls (TA, n = 3; TH, n = 3) were studied. For TA-PVE, a microcatheter was advanced into arteries supplying the left and left middle hepatic lobes. A 3 to 1 Ethiodol-ethanol mixture was infused into selected arteries to cross the arterioportal peribiliary plexus and remain within the portal veins (PVs). For TH-PVE, PVs in the same lobar distribution were embolized with 355- to 500-μm polyvinyl alcohol particles and coils. Controls were similarly catheterized for saline infusion. Computed tomography with volumetry was performed before and 7, 14, 21, and 28 days after PVE to assess FLR hypertrophy (absolute FLR volume change and FLR/total liver volume [TLV]). Computed tomographic volumetry, laboratory data, and histopathology were compared between groups. Results: All procedures were technically successful. The increases in mean absolute FLR volume (TA-PVE, 148 ± 84 cm3; TH-PVE, 62 ± 19 cm3; P = .082), mean FLR hypertrophy (TA-PVE, 93.2%; TH-PVE, 48.4%; P = .178), and mean FLR/TLV (TA-PVE, 31.0%; TH-PVE, 16.2%; P = .130) from day 0 to day 28 between experimental groups were better for TA-PVE. Changes in laboratory data among all groups were minimal. Two complications occurred from TA-PVE (right gastric artery embolization [n = 2] without sequela) and two from TH-PVE (acute segmental right PV thrombosis [n = 1]; death 3 weeks after PVE of unknown cause [n = 1]). Conclusions: Transarterial portal vein embolization is feasible, safe, and effective for inducing future liver remnant hypertrophy in swine and may represent an improvement over previously reported transhepatic portal vein embolization methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-93
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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