Radioembolization is the delivery of radioactive microspheres to cancers using an endovascular approach. It is often performed as an outpatient procedure. 

  • typically a transfemoral intra-arterial catheter with the tip near the target lesion
  • nuclear medicine specialists prepare the radioactive (e.g. yttrium-90) microspheres (~32 microns), which when injected are implanted in the microvascular arterial supply of the tumor where they become trapped

The spectrum of yttrium-90 is ~2.7 days, with no remaining radioactivity after one month.

The overall survival rate of almost 13 months with radioembolization. Mortality ranges from 0.6% to 6% at 30 and 90 days, respectively in high-risk groups. 

The most common adverse events are:

  • fatigue
  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • abdominal pain

Article information

rID: 29905
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Radio-embolisation
  • Radio-embolization
  • Radioembolization

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