Radiofrequency ablation is a safe and effective treatment for hepatocellular carcinomas 3.1 to 8.0 cm in diameter.
Case series with prospective data collection.
Tertiary referral center.
Eighty-six patients with hepatocellular carcinoma treated with radiofrequency ablation from May 1, 2001, to December 31, 2002, were placed into categories of those with tumors 3 cm or smaller (group 1, n = 51) and those with tumors 3.1 to 8.0 cm (group 2, n = 35) in diameter.
Radiofrequency ablation was performed with a single or cluster cool-tip electrode. The choice of treatment route was based on tumor size and position.
Main Outcome Measures
Complication, treatment mortality, and complete ablation rates.
Radiofrequency ablation was performed percutaneously in 26 patients in group 1 and 9 patients in group 2, with laparoscopy in 2 patients in group 1 and 1 patient in group 2, and with open operation in 23 patients in group 1 and 25 patients in group 2. The complication rates were 12% and 17% in group 1 and group 2, respectively (P = .48); treatment mortality rates were 0% and 3%, respectively (P = .41). Complete ablation rates after a single session of ablation assessed by means of computed tomography 1 month after treatment were 94% and 91% in group 1 and group 2, respectively (P = .68).
Radiofrequency ablation is a safe and effective treatment for patients with hepatocellular carcinomas 3.1 to 8.0 cm in diameter.