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1.  Acoustic radiation force impulse elastography for hepatocellular carcinoma-associated radiofrequency ablation 
AIM: To evaluate the potential usefulness of acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) images for evaluation of hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC)-associated radiofrequency ablation.
METHODS: From January 2010 to June 2010, a total of 38 patients with HCC including recurred HCCs after RFA underwent ARFI elastography. The brightness of tumor was checked and the shear wave velocity was measured for the quantification of stiffness. According to the brightness, the tumors were classified as brighter, same color and darker compared with adjacent parenchyma. Using the same methods, 8 patients with recurred HCCs after RFA state were evaluated about the brightness compared with adjacent RFA ablation area.
RESULTS: In the 38 patients with HCCs, 20 (52.6%) were brighter than surrounding cirrhotic parenchyma. Another 13 (34.2%) were darker. The others (5 cases, 13.2%) were seen as the same color as the adjacent liver parenchyma. Post-RFA lesions were darker than previous tumor and surrounding parenchyma in all 38 cases. However, recurred HCCs were brighter than the treated site in all 8 cases.
CONCLUSION: Using ARFI technique is helpful for differential diagnosis in order to detect recurred HCCs more easily in patients with confusing status.
PMCID: PMC3080723  PMID: 21528062
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Elastography; Radiofrequency ablation
2.  Efficacy of hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma 
AIM: To investigate the efficacy of hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy (HAIC) using floxuridine (FUDR) in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) confined to the liver.
METHODS: Thirty-four patients who had advanced HCC with unresectability or unsuccessful previous therapy in the absence of extrahepatic metastasis were treated with intra-arterial FUDR chemotherapy at our hospital between March 2005 and May 2008. Among the 34 patients, 9 patients were classified as Child class C, and 18 patients had portal vein tumor thrombus (PVTT). One course of chemotherapy consisted of continuous infusion of FUDR (0.3 mg/kg during day 1-14) and dexamethasone (10 mg on day 1, 4, 7 and 11), and this treatment was repeated every 28 d.
RESULTS: Two patients (5.9%) displayed a complete response, and 12 patients (35.3%) had a partial response. The tumor control rate was 61.8%. The median overall survival times were 15.3 mo, 12.4 mo and 4.3 mo for the patients who were classified as Child class A, Child class B and Child class C, respectively (P = 0.0392). The progression-free survival was 12.9 mo, 7.7 mo and 2.6 mo for the patients who were classified as Child class A, Child class B and Child class C, respectively (P = 0.0443). The cumulative survival differed significantly according to the Child-Pugh classification and the presence of PVTT. In addition to hepatic reserve capacity and PVTT, the extent of HCC was an independent factor in determining a poor prognosis. The most common adverse reactions to HAIC were mucositis, diarrhea and peptic ulcer disease, but most of these complications were improved by medical treatment and/or a delay of HAIC.
CONCLUSION: The present study demonstrates that intra-arterial FUDR chemotherapy is a safe and effective treatment for advanced HCC that is recalcitrant to other therapeutic modalities, even in patients with advanced cirrhosis.
PMCID: PMC3396196  PMID: 22807613
Hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy; Floxuridine; Advanced hepatocellular carcinoma; Child-Pugh classification; Portal vein tumor thrombus
3.  Splenic infarction associated with sorafenib use in a hepatocellular carcinoma patient 
Sorafenib, a multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor, has been shown to improve survival in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). As the clinical use of sorafenib increases, many adverse effects have been reported, such as hand-foot skin reaction, diarrhea, anorexia, asthenia, alopecia, weight loss, hypertension and arterial thromboembolism. However, there are no prior reports of splenic infarction as an adverse effect of sorafenib. Here, a case of splenic infarction in a patient with HCC who was treated with sorafenib is reported. The patient had no other predisposing factors to explain the splenic infarction except for the administration of sorafenib. The splenic infarction improved after sorafenib was discontinued; however, the HCC progressed.
PMCID: PMC3020384  PMID: 21246003
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Sorafenib; Tyrosine kinase inhibitor; Adverse effects; Splenic infarction
4.  Actinomycosis of the appendix mimicking appendiceal tumor: A case report 
Actinomycosis is an uncommon chronic infectious disease. Common sites of involvement include the cervicofacial, thoracic and abdominopelvic regions. In abdominopelvic actinomycosis, the ileocecal region, including the appendix, is the most commonly involved site. In some reports, limited appendiceal actinomycosis has revealed a thickened appendiceal wall with peri-appendiceal inflammation as acute appendicitis or perforated appendicitis. We experienced pathologically confirmed intraluminal limited appendiceal actinomycosis without peri-appendiceal infiltration. Here, we report the computed tomography and ultrasound findings.
PMCID: PMC2807964  PMID: 20082489
Actinomyces; Actinomycosis; Appendiceal neoplasms; Appendicitis
5.  Sigmoidorectal intussusception of adenoma of sigmoid colon treated by laparoscopic anterior resection after sponge-on-the-stick-assisted manual reduction 
We present herein a case report of sigmoidorectal intussusception as an unusual case of sigmoid adenomatous polyp. The patient was a 56-year-old man who suffered from rectal bleeding for one day. He initially visited his general practitioner and was diagnosed as having an intraluminal mass of 15 cm from the anal verge. Several hours after admission to our coloproctology clinic, he suddenly presented with lower abdominal cramping pain with rectal bleeding during his bowel preparation using polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution. An emergency colonoscopy revealed that the invaginated colon with polypoid mass was protruded to the lower rectum. Gastrograffin enema showed that the invaginated bowel segment was 3 cm from the anal verge. CT scan showed the typical finding of intussusception. We performed laparoscopic anterior resection and anastomosis after the sponge-on-the-stick-assisted manual reduction. The permanent pathologic finding showed villotubular adenoma of the sigmoid colon.
PMCID: PMC4077479  PMID: 16440436
Sigmoidorectal intussusception; Adenomatous polyp; Laparoscopic resection
6.  Focal Thickening at the Fundus of the Gallbladder: Computed Tomography Differentiation of Fundal Type Adenomyomatosis and Localized Chronic Cholecystitis 
Gut and Liver  2013;8(2):219-223.
The objective of our study was to identify useful computed tomography (CT) findings for differentiating fundal type adenomyomatosis from localized chronic cholecystitis involving the fundus of the gallbladder.
We retrospectively identified cases of 41 patients with pathologically proven adenomyomatosis (n=21) or chronic cholecystitis (n=20) who had fundal thickening of the gallbladder on preoperative abdominal CT. Analysis of the CT findings included evaluation of the thickness, contour, border, intralesional cystic area, adjacent gallbladder wall thickening, presence of inner layer enhancement, enhancement grade, enhancement pattern, and presence of stones. Statistical analyses were performed using the Mann-Whitney U test and Fisher exact test.
Oval contour, inner layer enhancement and intralesional cystic area were more frequently noted in adenomyomatosis than in chronic cholecystitis (p<0.05 for each finding). Flat contour and adjacent gallbladder wall thickening were more frequently observed in chronic cholecystitis than in adenomyomatosis. No differences between adenomyomatosis and chronic cholecystitis in terms of the thickness, enhancement grade, enhancement pattern and presence of stones were apparent.
CT may help to differentiate fundal type adenomyomatosis from localized chronic cholecystitis involving the fundus of the gallbladder.
PMCID: PMC3964274  PMID: 24672665
Adenomyomatosis; Chronic cholecystitis; Fundal type; Computed tomography
7.  Usefulness of acoustic radiation force impulse elastography in the differential diagnosis of benign and malignant solid pancreatic lesions 
Ultrasonography  2013;33(1):26-33.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the tissue stiffness of solid pancreatic lesions by using acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) elastography to differentiate benign from malignant pancreatic lesions.
ARFI elastography was performed in 26 patients who had 27 focal solid pancreatic lesions, including 8 benign lesions (mass-forming pancreatitis, 5; autoimmune pancreatitis, 3) and 19 malignant lesions (pancreatic adenocarcinoma, 16; metastasis from colorectal cancer, 2; malignant neuroendocrine tumor, 1). On the elastographic images of virtual touch tissue imaging (VTI), the echogenicity of the mass was categorized on a 5-grade scale. On the elastographic image of virtual touch tissue quantification (VTQ), the shear wave velocities (SWVs) of the lesion and surrounding parenchyma were measured.
On the VTI images, the mean echogenicity score of the malignant lesions (3.7±1.0) was higher than that of the benign lesions (3.1±0.4; P=0.023). On the VTQ images, there were no statistical differences in the mean SWV between the benign (2.4±1.1 m/sec) and malignant (3.3±1.0 m/sec) lesions (P=0.101). However, the mean SWV difference values between the lesion and background parenchyma of the malignant lesions (1.5±0.8 m/sec) were higher than those of the benign lesions (0.4±0.3 m/sec; P=0.011).
ARFI elastography can determine the relative stiffness between a lesion and the background pancreatic parenchyma using VTI and VTQ, which is helpful in the differentiation between benign and malignant solid pancreatic lesions.
PMCID: PMC4058971  PMID: 24936492
Ultrasonography; Elasticity imaging Techniques; Pancreas; Pancreatic neoplasms
8.  A Case of Hepatic Angiomyolipoma Which Was Misdiagnosed as Hepatocellular Carcinoma in a Hepatitis B Carrier 
Case Reports in Hepatology  2012;2012:606108.
We report a rare case of resected hepatic AML, which was misdiagnosed as hepatocellular carcinoma in a chronic hepatitis B carrier. A 45-year-old woman who was a carrier of hepatitis B virus infection presented with a hepatic tumor. Her serum alpha-fetoprotein level was normal. Ultrasonography revealed a round and well-circumscribed echogenic hepatic tumor measuring 2.5 cm in the segment VI. On contrast-enhanced computed tomography, a hypervascular tumor was observed in the arterial phase and washing-out of the contrast medium in the portal phase and delayed phase. On MR T1-weighted in-phase images, the mass showed low signal intensity, and on out-of-phase images, the mass showed signal drop and dark signal intensity. On MR T2-weighted images, the mass showed high signal intensity. The mass demonstrated high signal intensity on arterial phase after contrast injection, suggestive of hepatocellular carcinoma. The patient underwent hepatic wedge resection and histopathological diagnosis was a hepatic angiomyolipoma.
PMCID: PMC4208446  PMID: 25374707
9.  Prognostic factors for gallbladder cancer in the laparoscopy era 
Hepatobiliary surgery has changed dramatically in recent decades with the advent of laparoscopic techniques. The aim of this retrospective study was to compare survival rates according to stages, adjusting for important prognostic factors.
A retrospective study of a 17-year period from January 1994 to April 2011 was carried out. The cases studied were divided into two time period cohorts, those treated in the first 9-years (n = 109) and those treated in the last 7-years (n = 109).
An operation with curative intent was performed on 218 patients. The 5-year survival rates according to the depth of invasion were 86% (T1), 56% (T2), 45% (T3), and 5% (T4). The number of cases of incidental gallbladder cancer found during 3,919 laparoscopic cholecystectomies was 96 (2.4%). Incidental gallbladder cancer revealed a better survival rate (P = 0.003). Iatrogenic bile spillage was found in 20 perforations of the gallbladder during laparoscopic cholecystectomies, 16 preoperative percutaneous transhepatic gallbladder drainages and 16 percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainages; only percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainage patients showed a significantly lower survival rate than patients without iatrogenic bile spillage (P < 0.034). Chemoradiation appeared to improve overall survival (P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis also revealed that time period, type of surgery, surgical margin, lymphovascular invasion, lymph node involvement, and chemoradiation therapy had significant effects.
This study found that the prognosis of gallbladder cancer is still determined by the stage at presentation due to the aggressive biology of this tumor. Early diagnosis, radical resection and appropriate adjuvant therapy can increase overall survival.
PMCID: PMC3467389  PMID: 23091795
Gallbladder cancer; Laparoscopy; Prognosis
10.  Recurrent Hepatic Alveolar Echinococcosis: Report of The First Case in Korea with Unproven Infection Route 
Human alveolar echinococcosis (AE), a hepatic disorder that resembles liver cancer, is a highly aggressive and lethal zoonotic infection caused by the larval stage of the fox tapeworm, Echinococcus multilocularis. E. multilocularis is widely distributed in the northern hemisphere; the disease-endemic area stretches from north America through Europe to central and east Asia, including northern parts of Japan, but it has not been reported in Korea. Herein, we represent a first case of AE in Korea. A 41-year-old woman was found to have a large liver mass on routine medical examination. The excised mass showed multinodular, necrotic, and spongiform appearance with small irregular pseudocystic spaces. Microscopically, the mass was composed of chronic granulomatous inflammation with extensive coagulation necrosis and parasite-like structure, which was revealed as parasitic vesicles and laminated layer delineated by periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) stain. Clinical and histologic features were consistent with AE. After 8 years, a new liver mass and multiple metastatic pulmonary nodules were found and the recurred mass showed similar histologic features to the initial mass. She had never visited endemic areas of AE, and thus the exact infection route is unclear.
PMCID: PMC3279681  PMID: 22355210
Echinococcus multilocularis; alveolar echinococcosis; hepatic; human
11.  Lessons learned from 100 initial cases of laparoscopic liver surgery 
Laparoscopic liver resection (LLR) is now widely accepted and is being increasingly performed. The present study describes our experience with LLR at a single center over an eight-year period.
This retrospective study enrolled 100 patients between October 2002 and February 2010. Forty-six benign lesions and 54 malignant lesions were included. The LLR performed included 58 pure laparoscopy procedures, 18 hand-assisted laparoscopy procedures and 24 hybrid technique procedures.
The mean age of the patients was 57 years; among these patients, 31 were over 65 years of age. The mean operation time was 220 minutes. The overall morbidity was 11% and the mortality was zero. Among the 20 patients with simple hepatic cysts, 50% unexpectedly recurred. Among the 41 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, 21 patients (51%) underwent preoperative radiofrequency ablation therapy or transarterial chemoembolization. During parenchymal-transection, 11 received blood transfusion. The width of the resection margins was under 0.5 cm in 11 cases (27%); 0.5 to 1 cm in 22 cases (54%) and over 1 cm in eight cases (12%). There was no port site seeding, but argon beam coagulation-induced tumor dissemination was observed in two cases. The overall two-year survival rate was 75%.
This study suggests that the applications for LLR can be gradually expanded when assuring that the safety and curability of LLR are equivalent to that of open liver resection.
PMCID: PMC3204701  PMID: 22066057
Laparoscopic liver resection; Hepatic cyst; Hapatocellular carcinoma; Resection margin
12.  Discrete Hypoechoic Ring in Hepatic Cavernous Hemangioma Resembling a Malignant Tumor: Correlation with Histologic Features 
Gut and Liver  2009;3(3):226-230.
Differential diagnoses of hepatic nodules include hepatocellular carcinoma, focal nodular hyperplasia, hepatic adenoma, regenerative nodule, focal fatty changes, and hemangioma. However, differentiation of these nodules can often be difficult. Hemangiomas are frequently encountered during ultrasonogram incidentally and can be diagnosed easily because they have an almost distinctive sonographic appearance: a homogeneous hyperechogenicity and discrete posterior acoustic enhancement. They also sometimes have atypical findings, for example an internal echogenicity including hypoechogenicity, heterogeneous echogenicity, hyperechoic rim, central hypoechogenicity due to various changes (e.g., internal hemorrhage, necrosis, thrombosis, myxomatous change, and fibrosis), and (rarely) calcification. We report herein the case of an atypical hemangioma presenting with a hypoechoic peripheral ring, mimicking a hepatic malignancy. To our knowledge, there have been no other reports demonstrating a cavernous hemangioma with a discrete hypoechoic ring and without a pseudocapsule.
PMCID: PMC2852708  PMID: 20431752
Hemangioma; Hypoechoic ring; Hepatic malignancy; Ultrasonography
13.  Radiofrequency Ablation Treatment for Renal Cell Carcinoma: Early Clinical Experience 
Korean Journal of Radiology  2008;9(4):340-347.
To evaluate the early clinical experience associated with radiofrequency (RF) ablation in patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC).
Materials and Methods
The RF ablation treatment was performed on 17 tumors from 16 patients (mean age, 60.5 years; range, 43-73 years) with RCC. The treatment indications were localized, solid renal mass, comorbidities, high operation risk, and refusal to perform surgery. All tumors were treated by a percutaneous CT (n = 10), followed by an US-guided (n = 2), laparoscopy-assisted US (n = 2), and an open (n = 2) RF ablation. Furthermore, patients underwent a follow-up CT at one day, one week, one month, three and six months, and then every six months from the onset of treatment. We evaluated the technical success, technical effectiveness, ablation zone, benign periablation enhancement, irregular peripheral enhancement, and complications.
All 17 exophytic tumors (mean size, 2.2 cm; range, 1.1-5.0 cm) were completely ablated. Technical success and effectiveness was achieved in all cases and the mean follow-up period was 23.8 months (range, 17-33 months). A local recurrence was not detected in any of the cases; however, five patients developed complications as a result of treatment, including hematuria (n = 2), mild thermal injury of the psoas muscle (n = 1), mild hydronephrosis (n = 1), and fistula formation (n = 1).
The RF ablation is an alternative treatment for exophytic RCCs and represents a promising treatment for some patients with small RCCs.
PMCID: PMC2627268  PMID: 18682672
Radiofrequency ablation; Renal tumors; Kidney tumors
14.  Rational strain selection and engineering creates a broad-spectrum, systemically effective oncolytic poxvirus, JX-963 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2007;117(11):3350-3358.
Replication-selective oncolytic viruses (virotherapeutics) are being developed as novel cancer therapies with unique mechanisms of action, but limitations in i.v. delivery to tumors and systemic efficacy have highlighted the need for improved agents for this therapeutic class to realize its potential. Here we describe the rational, stepwise design and evaluation of a systemically effective virotherapeutic (JX-963). We first identified a highly potent poxvirus strain that also trafficked efficiently to human tumors after i.v. administration. This strain was then engineered to target cancer cells with activation of the transcription factor E2F and the EGFR pathway by deletion of the thymidine kinase and vaccinia growth factor genes. For induction of tumor-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes, we further engineered the virus to express human GM-CSF. JX-963 was more potent than the previously used virotherapeutic Onyx-015 adenovirus and as potent as wild-type vaccinia in all cancer cell lines tested. Significant cancer selectivity of JX-963 was demonstrated in vitro in human tumor cell lines, in vivo in tumor-bearing rabbits, and in primary human surgical samples ex vivo. Intravenous administration led to systemic efficacy against both primary carcinomas and widespread organ-based metastases in immunocompetent mice and rabbits. JX-963 therefore holds promise as a rationally designed, targeted virotherapeutic for the systemic treatment of cancer in humans and warrants clinical testing.
PMCID: PMC2040321  PMID: 17965776

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