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Sutherland LM, Williams JAR, Padbury RTA, Gotley DC, Stokes B, Maddern GJ. Radiofrequency Ablation of Liver Tumors: A Systematic Review. Arch Surg. 2006;141(2):181–190. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/archsurg.141.2.181
To systematically review radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for treating liver tumors.
Databases were searched in July 2003.
Studies comparing RFA with other therapies for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and colorectal liver metastases (CLM) plus selected case series for CLM.
One researcher used standardized data extraction tables developed before the study, and these were checked by a second researcher.
For HCC, 13 comparative studies were included, 4 of which were randomized, controlled trials. For CLM, 13 studies were included, 2 of which were nonrandomized comparative studies and 11 that were case series. There did not seem to be any distinct differences in the complication rates between RFA and any of the other procedures for treatment of HCC. The local recurrence rate at 2 years showed a statistically significant benefit for RFA over percutaneous ethanol injection for treatment of HCC (6% vs 26%, 1 randomized, controlled trial). Local recurrence was reported to be more common after RFA than after laser-induced thermotherapy, and a higher recurrence rate and a shorter time to recurrence were dassociated with RFA compared with surgical resection (1 nonrandomized study each). For CLM, the postoperative complication rate ranged from 0% to 33% (3 case series). Survival after diagnosis was shorter in the CLM group treated with RFA than in the surgical resection group (1 nonrandomized study). The CLM local recurrence rate after RFA ranged from 4% to 55% (6 case series).
Radiofrequency ablation may be more effective than other treatments in terms of less recurrence of HCC and may be as safe, although the evidence is scant. There was not enough evidence to determine the safety or efficacy of RFA for treatment of CLM.
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