Percutaneous radiofrequency thermal ablation for hepatocellular carcinoma

A. Baldan, D. Marino, M. De Giorgio, C. Angonese, U. Cillo, A. D'Alessandro, A. Masotto, M. Massani, M. Mazzucco, E. Miola, D. Neri, D. Paccagnella, G. Pivetta, A. Stellato, L. Tommasi, F. Tremolada, A. Tufano, G. Zanus, F. Farinati

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1495-1501
Number of pages7
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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