Percutaneous treatment of small hepatic tumors by an expandable RF needle electrode

S. Rossi, E. Buscarini, F. Garbagnati, M. Di Stasi, P. Quaretti, M. Rago, A. Zangrandi, S. Andreola, D. Silverman, L. Buscarini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE. The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of expandable RF needle electrodes in the treatment of hepatic cancer. SUBJECTS AND METHODS. Thirty-seven patients, 23 of whom had 26 hepatocellular carcinoma nodules and 14 of whom had 19 hepatic metastatic nodules, underwent treatment by RF interstitial thermal ablation with expandable needle electrodes. Forty-five tumor nodules were treated in 64 RF interstitial thermal ablation sessions with 83 needle electrode insertions. The mean diameter of the tumor nodules was 2.5 cm (range, 1.1-3.5 cm). Immediate posttreatment tumor necrosis was evaluated by dynamic CT in all cases. Two patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and three patients with metastases underwent surgical resection 20-60 days after RF treatment. The remaining 32 patients were followed up clinically. RESULTS. The men number of RF interstitial thermal ablation sessions to complete tumor nodule treatment was 1.4. Mean number of needle electrode insertion was 1.8. No complications were observed. Posttreatment dynamic CT showed a completely nonenhancing area in the sites of the treated tumor in 44 of 45 cases. The remaining patient with metastatic disease had persistent enhancing tissue. Histology showed complete necrosis in four treated tumor nodules and residual viable cancer in one. Twenty-one patients with hepatocellular carcinoma were followed up for 6-19 months (mean, 10 months). Of these patients, six showed recurrences and 15 remained apparently disease-free. Two patients died, one from advanced cancer and one from other causes. Eleven patients with hepatic metastases were followed up for 7-20 months (mean, 12 months). Of these patients, nine showed recurrent disease and only two remained apparently disease-free. Two patients died from disseminated disease. CONCLUSION. RF interstitial thermal ablation of hepatic tumor by expandable needle electrodes is a safe and effective technique. Local ablation of tumors not exceeding 3.5 cm in diameter is achieved in a short time without complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1015-1022
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Percutaneous treatment of small hepatic tumors by an expandable RF needle electrode'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this