Percutaneous ultrasound-guided radiofrequency electrocautery for the treatment of small hepatocellular carcinoma

S. Rossi, F. Fornari, L. Buscarini

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The percentage of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma in cirrhosis eligible for surgery is low, so percutaneous ablative therapies is advisable. From January 1989 to July 1992, we treated 13 patients affected by small hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in cirrhosis with radiofrequency electrocautery. The electrode needle was percutaneously inserted into the tumor under ultrasound guidance. In each patient we made a necrosis with a volume about double that of the tumor volume. Multiple fine-needle biopsy (FNB), dynamic computed tomography (CT) and angiography performed at the end of treatment showed the destruction of the tumors. No complications occurred. Follow-up ranged from 2-43 months: 2 patients died and 11 patients are still alive, 9 of whom show no evidence of HCC. Ultrasound is a good technique to guide the radiofrequency electrode needle and to monitor the obtained necrosis. It also allows one to monitor the treated tumors in follow-up. We concluded that ultrasound-guided radiofrequency electrocautery treatment can be considered a useful new approach to the percutaneous ablation of small HCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-103
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Interventional Radiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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