Efficacy and Safety of Percutaneous Radiofrequency Ablation of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in a Regional Hospital

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WSW Chan, DHY Cho, SSH Chiu, WL Poon, SK Kei, SH Luk

Hong Kong J Radiol 2009;12:53-6

Objective: This study was performed to assess the treatment effectiveness and safety of percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of hepatocellular carcinoma in a regional hospital.

Methods: This was a retrospective review of percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of hepatic tumours performed at the Department of Radiology, Tuen Mun Hospital, Hong Kong, from July 2005 to March 2008. Sixty seven ablative procedures were performed, of which 47 were percutaneous ablations. Thirty five percutaneous radiofrequency ablations of hepatocellular carcinoma with a curative aim were performed on 52 hepatocellular tumours in 32 patients. Patients underwent regular computed tomography imaging of the liver during follow-up and the treatment effectiveness and safety were evaluated. Incomplete ablation, recurrence, complications, and mortality were documented.

Results: At 1 month, 48 of 52 tumours (93%) of hepatocellular carcinoma had complete ablation. The primary technical effectiveness rate was 82.7%. The secondary technical effectiveness rate was 92.3%. The rate for minor complications was 4.7%. There were no major complications. There were 2 deaths (4.7%), 1 of which may have been procedure-related.

Conclusions: Radiofrequency ablation of the liver is safe and feasible in a regional hospital. These results for treatment effectiveness and complication rates are comparable with previous studies.