Scientific publications

Biocompatibility, Inflammatory Response, and Recannalization Characteristics of Nonradioactive Resin Microspheres: Histological Findings

José I. Bilbao (1), Alba de Martino (2), Esther de Luis (1), Lourdes Díaz-Dorronsoro (1), Alberto Alonso-Burgos (1), Antonio Martínez de la Cuesta (1), Bruno Sangro (3), and José A. García de Jalón (2)
(1) Department of Radiology, Clínica Universitaria de Navarra, Universidad de Navarra, Avenida de Pio XII, 36, Pamplona, 31008 Spain
(2) Department of Histology, School of Veterinary, Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain3)Department of Internal Medicine (Liver Unit), Clínica Universitaria de Navarra, Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain

Magazine: Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology

Date: Jul 1, 2009

Hepatology Radiology [SP]

Intra-arterial radiotherapy with yttrium-90 microspheres (radioembolization) is a therapeutic procedure exclusively applied to the liver that allows the direct delivery of high-dose radiation to liver tumors, by means of endovascular catheters, selectively placed within the tumor vasculature.

The aim of the study was to describe the distribution of spheres within the precapillaries, inflammatory response, and recannalization characteristics after embolization with nonradioactive resin microspheres in the kidney and liver. We performed a partial embolization of the liver and kidney vessels in nine white pigs.

The left renal and left hepatic arteries were catheterized and filled with nonradioactive resin microspheres. Embolization was defined as the initiation of near-stasis of blood flow, rather than total occlusion of the vessels. The hepatic circulation was not isolated so that the effects of reflux of microspheres into stomach could be observed. Animals were sacrificed at 48 h, 4 weeks, and 8 weeks, and tissue samples from the kidney, liver, lung, and stomach evaluated. Microscopic evaluation revealed clusters of 10–30 microspheres (15–30 μm in diameter) in the small vessels of the kidney (the arciform arteries, vasa recti, and glomerular afferent vessels) and liver. Aggregates were associated with focal ischemia and mild vascular wall damage.

Occlusion of the small vessels was associated with a mild perivascular inflammatory reaction. After filling of the left hepatic artery with microspheres, there was some evidence of arteriovenous shunting into the lungs, and one case of cholecystitis and one case of marked gastritis and ulceration at the site of arterial occlusion due to the presence of clusters of microspheres. Beyond 48 h, microspheres were progressively integrated into the vascular wall by phagocytosis and the lumen recannalized. Eight-week evaluation found that the perivascular inflammatory reaction was mild. Liver cell damage, bile duct injury, and portal space fibrosis were not observed. In conclusion, resin microspheres (15–30 μm diameter) trigger virtually no inflammatory response in target tissues (liver and kidney).

Clusters rather than individual microspheres were associated with a mild to moderate perivascular inflammatory reaction. There was no evidence of either a prolonged inflammatory reaction or fibrosis in the liver parenchyma following recannalization.

CITATION  Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 2009 Jul;32(4):727-36



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