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Radiofrequency Ablation as Locoregional Therapy for Unresectable Hepatic Malignancies: Initial Results in 24 Patients with 5-Years Follow-Up

Croatian Anthropological Society; [email protected]
Publication Date
  • Radiofrequency Ablation
  • Liver Metastases
  • Recurrence
  • Percutaneous Ethanol Injection
  • Mortality
  • Medicine


Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is one treatment modality for unresectable liver metastases. Patients with hepatic malignancies (n=24) underwent elective RFA. All tumors were ablated with a curative intent, with a margin of 1 cm, in a single session of RFA. The median diameter of tumor was 3.1 cm (range 1.7–6.9 cm). Studied patients were not candidates for resection due to multifocal hepatic disease, extrahepatic disease, proximity to major vascular structures or presence of cirrhosis with functional hepatic reserve inadequate to tolerate major hepatic resection. Complete tumor necrosis was achieved in 87.5% and tumor recurred in 3 patients (12.5%) with lesions larger than 5 cm. Distant intrahepatic recurrence was diagnosed in another 4 (16.7%). Distant metastases were found in 7 (29.2%) patients. Four of these 7 patients had also distant intrahepatic recurrence of disease. Two and 5-years survival rates were 41.7% (10 patients) and 8.3% (2 patients) respectively. RFA is safe and effective option for patients with unresectable hepatic malignancies smaller than 5 cm without distant metastatic disease. RF ablation resulted in complete tumor necrosis in 87.5% with 2 and 5-years survival rates much higher than with chemotherapy alone or only supportive therapy, when survival is measured in weeks or months. If RFA is unavailable, percutaneous ethanol injection therapy can be done but with inferior survival rates.

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