Postembolization syndrome

What is postembolization syndrome?

Postembolization syndrome is an expected set of symptoms and signs, including pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, and leukocytosis, that patients may experience after an embolization.

PES is an expected side effect of liver embolization and can occur after TAE, TACE, and SIRT. It is characterized by fever, abdominal pain, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. PES occurs in up to 90% of patients. The severity of symptoms is variable and is usually a self-limited event that is managed supportively. Occasionally it can require an extended hospital admission. The etiologic factors are not fully understood but PES is thought to be caused by a combination of liver tissue ischemia, inflammatory response, and tumor necrosis.

The cause is likely secondary to organ ischemia/infarction. Prophylactic antibiotics to prevent superinfection of ischemic tissue and pain control and antiemetic agents are helpful in treating postembolization syndrome.

The syndrome is transient and should resolve within 3 to 5 days after the procedure.

Nearly all patients get postembolization syndrome after TACE.

This condition includes low-grade fever, nausea, abdominal pain, and fatigue. It is worst in the first 24 to 48 hours after the procedure and usually resolves within 1 week after TACE.


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