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August 2001

Safety and Efficacy of Radiofrequency Thermal Ablation in Advanced Liver Tumors

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Hawaii School of Medicine and Kuakini Medical Center, Honolulu.

Arch Surg. 2001;136(8):864-869. doi:10.1001/archsurg.136.8.864

Hypothesis  Radiofrequency thermal ablation (RFA) can be performed safely and effectively to control local disease in patients with advanced, unresectable liver tumors.

Design, Setting, and Patients  Prospective study of 76 patients with unresectable liver tumors who underwent RFA at a private tertiary referral hospital.

Interventions  Ninety-nine RFA operations were performed to ablate 328 tumors.

Main Outcome Measures  Complications and local recurrence.

Results  There was 1 death (1%), major complications occurred in 7 operations (7%), and minor complications occurred in 10 operations (10%). Local recurrence was identified in 30 tumors (9%) at a mean follow-up of 15 months. Size (P<.001), vascular invasion (P<.001), and total volume ablated (P<.001) were associated with recurrence but the number of tumors was not (P = .39).

Conclusion  Radiofrequency thermal ablation provides local control of advanced liver tumors with low recurrence and acceptable morbidity.