Background: Radiofrequency thermal ablation is the first therapeutic option in percutaneous treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma but data on its long-term efficacy and safety are not conclusive. Aim: This study reports a prospective survey on radiofrequency thermal ablation in north-east Italy. Methods: Data were collected on 401 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (males 301, mean age: 68 years) treated by radiofrequency thermal ablation in 13 centres. Indication to treatment was: single nodule not eligible for surgery in 77% of patients, 2-3 nodes in 18% and multiple lesions in 5%. Mean size was 3 cm (1-8 cm). Treatment response was assessed at 1 month by spiral computerized tomography and then with ultrasound examination and new spiral computerized tomography. Results: Complete response was obtained in 67% of patients and in 27% response was 75-99%. Complete response raised to 77% in lesions smaller than 3 cm. The morbidity rate was 34%; the mortality was 0.5%, seeding was observed in four patients. Ten patients presented an unexpected rapid disease progression. Conclusion: The above data show that by radiofrequency thermal ablation, complete response can be achieved only in about two-third of the cases, clearly less than expected, and that, beyond seeding, unexpected progression can be observed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)