Purpose: To demonstrate that patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and elevated baseline neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (NLR) have a significantly greater risk of progressive disease following initial transarterial chemoembolization. Materials and Methods: A total of 190 HCC patients (149 male/41 female) treated with transarterial chemoembolization between July 2013 and July 2017 were reviewed. Mean patient age was 62. Child-Pugh grades were 132 A, 61 B, and 4 C. Tracked criteria included etiology of cirrhosis, tumor number, Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer score, diameter of the largest 2 tumors, and presence of portal vein thrombosis. Complete blood count with differential before the procedure was used for NLR calculation. Follow-up imaging was performed 2 months after treatment. The modified response evaluation criteria in solid tumors were used to assess response. The association between baseline NLR and tumor response (ordinal modified response evaluation criteria in solid tumors categories) on 2-month follow-up imaging was evaluated using the proportional odds logistic regression model. Results: A total of 194 patients (76.6%) patients had a preprocedural NLR <3.5, and 59 (23%) patients had a preprocedural NLR ≥3.5. There was a statistically significant association between baseline NLR and immediate progression on 2-month follow-up imaging (mean NLR 4.10, 2.76, 2.72, and 2.48 for progressive and stable disease and partial and complete response, respectively; odds ratio 2.1, P = .04). NLR (P = .021) and tumor multiplicity (P = .011) predicted progressive disease at 2-month imaging. Conclusions: Elevated baseline NLR is associated with higher rates of HCC tumor progression at 2-month follow-up imaging after transarterial chemoembolization.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine