Single injection dual phase CBCT technique ameliorates results of trans-arterial chemoembolization for hepatocellular cancer
Cone-beam CT (CBCT) application to the field of trans-arterial chemoembolization has been recently the focus of several researches. This imaging modality is performed with a rotation of the C-arm around the patient, without needs of patient repositioning. Datasets are immediately processed, obtaining volumetric CT-like images with the possibility of post-processing and reconstruction of images. Dual phase CBCT recently introduced in clinical practice consists in a first arterial acquisition followed by a delayed acquisition corresponding to a venous phase. The introduction of this feature has overcome the limit of single-phase acquisitions, allowing lesions characterization. Moreover these recent advantages have several intra-procedural implications. Detailed technical and acquisition parameters will be widely exposed in this review with particular attention to: catheter positioning, acquisition delay, injection parameters, patient positioning and contrast dilution. Comparison with standard of practice second line imaging [multidetector computer tomography (MDCT) and MDCT/arteriography] demonstrate the capability of detecting occult nodules providing some clinical implications thus potentially identifying a sub set of patients with aggressive disease behaviour. Other intra-procedural advantages of dual phase CBCT usage consist in a better tumor feeder visualization, reduction of proper DSA and fluoroscopic time, suggestion the presence of an extrahepatic parasitic feeder thus resulting in a more accurate treatment. Finally, the volumetrical intraprocedural evaluation of accumulation of embolic agent has proved to be correlate with treatment response if compared with MRI.