Health-Related Quality of Life in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma Treated with Initial Transarterial Chemoembolization

Jan B. Hinrichs*, Davut B. Hasdemir, Maximilian Nordlohne, Nora Schweitzer, Frank Wacker, Arndt Vogel, Martha M. Kirstein, Steffen Marquardt, Thomas Rodt

*Corresponding author for this work
14 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To investigate the impact of the first transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and identify predictors for low HRQoL following TACE. Materials and Methods: HRQoL was prospectively evaluated in 79 patients with standardized questionnaires (QlQ-C30 and HCC18) pre- and 2 weeks post-TACE. Treatment response was evaluated using common tumour response criteria. Clinical parameters [e.g. Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status, Model of End Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score], tumour load and pre-TACE HRQoL scores were tested for predicting HRQoL after TACE. Results: Patients showed a 12.1% decrease in global health score (GHS). Major decreases were observed for physical (−21.4%), role (−23.4%), and social (−21.5%) functioning and increases in symptom severity for fatigue (+30.1%), loss of appetite (+25.3%), pain (+19.4%) after TACE. ECOG performance status >1 was associated with increased nausea/vomiting (p = 0.002) and decreased GHS (p = 0.01). MELD score >10 was associated with increased fatigue (p = 0.021) and abdominal swelling (p < 0.001). Our study showed an increase in symptom severity in patients with no symptoms before TACE for pain (p = 0.005) and abdominal swelling (p < 0.001). Conclusion: The first TACE for treatment of HCC does not result in a major loss of HRQoL in general. For TACE as a palliative therapy maintaining HRQoL is of critical importance and standardized HRQoL assessment can help to detect HRQoL problems.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCardioVascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1559-1566
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 01.10.2017


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