Intraoperative radiofrequency ablation or cryoablation for hepatic malignancies

A. Scott Pearson, Francesco Izzo, R. Y Declan Fleming, Lee M. Ellis, Paolo Delrio, Mark S. Roh, Jennifer Granchi, Steven A. Curley

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Background: The majority of patients with primary or metastatic malignancies confined to the liver are not candidates for resection because of tumor size, location, multifocality, or inadequate functional hepatic reserve. Cryoablation has become a common treatment in select groups of these patients with unresectable liver tumors. However, hepatic cryoablation is associated with significant morbidity. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a technique that destroys liver tumors in situ by localized application of heat to produce coagulative necrosis. In this study, we compared the complication and early local recurrence rates in patients with unresectable malignant liver tumors treated with either cryoablation or RFA. Patients and methods: Patients with hepatic malignancies were entered into two consecutive prospective, nonrandomized trials. The liver tumors were treated intraoperatively with cryoablation or RFA; intraoperative ultrasonography was used to guide placement of cryoprobes or RFA needles. All patients were followed up postoperatively to assess complications, treatment response, and local recurrence of malignant disease. Results: Cryoablation was performed on 88 tumors in 54 patients, and RFA was used to treat 138 tumors in 92 patients. Treatment-related complications, including 1 postoperative death, occurred in 22 of the 54 patients treated with cryoablation (40.7% complication rate). In contrast, there were no treatment-related deaths and only 3 complications after RFA (3.3% complication rate, P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-599
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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    Pearson, A. S., Izzo, F., Fleming, R. Y. D., Ellis, L. M., Delrio, P., Roh, M. S., Granchi, J., & Curley, S. A. (1999). Intraoperative radiofrequency ablation or cryoablation for hepatic malignancies. American Journal of Surgery, 178(6), 592-599.