Ablazione percutanea ecoguidata del carcinoma epatocellulare su cirrosi mediante radiofrequenza con «ago freddo»

Translated title of the contribution: US-guided percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of hepatocellular carcinoma in cirrhosis with a «cooled-tip» needle

Gianpiero Marone, Giampiero Francica, Valentina D'Angelo, Giuseppe Iodice, Pietro Pastore, Gabriella Altamura, Bianca Cusati, Alfredo Siani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction. Radiofrequency hyperthermia using the newly-developed «cooled-tip» needle is one of the latest US-guided percutaneous treatments of hepatocellular carcinoma arising in cirrhosis. The continuous cooling of the needle tip allows tissue heating and necrosis far from the electrode without tissue charring, which was the major drawback of the old monopolar technique. Herein we report our preliminary results on feasibility and effectiveness of the thermoablation of mono- or paucifocal hepatocellular carcinoma with the cooled-tip needle. Material and methods. November, 1996, to January, 1998, we treated thirteen cirrhotic patients (mean age 69.5 yrs, 10 men, 12 HCV-positive; 11 in Child's Class A and 2 in Class B) with 19 hepatocellular carcinoma nodules (mean diameter: 27 mm; range: 10-41 mm; 6 with diameter >3 cm). None of the patients had portal thrombosis and/or extrahepatic spread. We used a radiofrequency generator (100 W power) connected to an 18 G perfusion electrode needle with an exposed tip of 2-3 cm. The circuit is closed through a dispersive electrode positioned under the patient's thighs. A peristaltic pump infuses a chilled (2-5°C) saline solution to guarantee the continuous cooling of the needle tip. The needle was placed into target lesions under US guidance. The interventional procedure was carried out under general anesthesia using Propofol without intubation. Dynamic CT (more recently with the helical technique) was carried out 15-20 days after thermoablation to assess treatment efficacy. Results. In all, 31 thermal injuries (at 1000-1200 mA for 10-15 minutes) were caused in 21 sessions in the 19 hepatocellular carcinoma nodules (mean: 1.5 lesions per nodule and 1.6 sessions per patient). Complete necrosis as assessed at dynamic CT (no enhancement during the arteriographic phase) was achieved in 16 of 19 nodules (84%). No side-effects occurred. During the follow-up (median: 11 months) no death occurred and five patients had recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma appearing either as single nodule or as multinodular liver involvement. Conclusions. In our experience radiofrequency hyperthermia with the cooled-tip needle permits effective and safe percutaneous ablation of HCC in cirrhosis. In addition, treatment time is short and lesions >3 cm can be treated. Further experience is needed to better define the role of percutaneous thermoablation in the treatment strategy of hepatocellular carcinoma.

Translated title of the contributionUS-guided percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of hepatocellular carcinoma in cirrhosis with a «cooled-tip» needle
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)624-629
Number of pages6
JournalRadiologia Medica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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