INTRODUCTION: The aim is to describe the importance of leakage monitoring in hyperthermic isolated limb perfusion (ILP). It is generally recommended that leakage should not exceed 10% because of risk of systemic toxicity. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Data retrieved by retrospective analysis of 131 perfusions performed in 115 consecutive patients (77 women and 38 men; median age 66 years) with recurrent and/or clinically apparent, cutaneous or subcutaneous melanoma metastases in an extremity. Radionuclide monitoring was performed with continuous, precordial count rate determinations of an intravascular (99m) Tc-labelled tracer infused into the isolated limb circulation. RESULTS: One hundred and sixteen of 131 procedures were completed. In 13%, a leakage of ≥10% was detected; in 6% (n = 8), the cytotoxic drug was never infused because of constant leakage; in 7% (n = 9), leakage ≥10% was measured during the perfusion resulting in two perfusions being terminated before 30 min, 5 perfusions were considered completed though with early termination (after 30 min, before 60 min), and 2 fully completed. No patients had systemic toxicity requiring treatment, whereas considerable or serious local toxicity were observed in 14%. Three of the patients with leakage ≥10% were successfully treated in a repeated procedure. CONCLUSION: Leakage monitoring using a threshold of 10% during ILP saves the patients from systemic toxicity, however, at the expense of early termination or cancellation of ILP treatment in a few patients and repeated ILP procedures in some.
Clinical Physiology and Functional Imaging, 2015, Vol 35, Issue 4, p. 301-305