To identify risk factors for pain after transarterial chemoembolization with drug-eluting beads (DEB-TACE) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
In this retrospective study, a total of 118 consecutive patients who underwent DEB-TACE between June 2016 and May 2019 with post-TACE pain were included. The patients were divided into three groups based on the severity of post-TACE pain according to the distribution of pain Visual Analogue Scale/Score (VAS). Potential risk factors for post-TACE pain were primarily analyzed using the chi-square test, one-way analysis of variance, or Kruskal–Wallis test (if appropriate). For multivariate analysis, an ordinal logistic regression model was utilized. Variables with P<0.10 in the univariate analysis were included in a multivariate model to identify independent risk factors for post-TACE pain. A multivariate analysis was also performed by means of a decision tree using the Classification and Regression Tree (CART) algorithm.
The univariate analysis showed that elderly patients or patients with portal venous tumor thrombus (PVTT) were more likely to have severe post-TACE pain than young patients or those without PVTT (P=0.028 and <0.001, respectively). However, in the ordinal logistic regression, nonsuperselective chemoembolization and presence of PVTT were independent risk factors of severe post-TACE pain (P=0.046 and <0.001, respectively). In addition, the CART showed that nonsuperselective chemoembolization and PVTT could increase the probability of severe post-TACE pain.