Journal 7, July 2003pages: 496-500
Background: Radiofrequency ablation has recently become a viable treatment option for unresectable primary or secondary lesions confined to the liver.
Objective: To study the local therapeutic efficacy, side effects and complications of radiofrequency ablation for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma and liver metastases This is the first reported experience of radiofrequency ablation for treating malignant hepatic tumors in Israel.
Methods: Fifteen consecutive patients, aged 53–73 years, with 23 lesions (8 patients with HCC and 7 with secondary liver tumors) underwent radiofrequency ablation under general anesthesia. RITA nine-array 5 cm thermal ablation catheter and the model 1500 generator were used. The mean diameter of all tumors was 4.28 cm (range 1–10 cm). Three lesions were 1–3 cm in diameter (small), 17 lesions measured 3.1–5 cm (medium), and 3 measured 5.1–10 cm (large).
Results: Complete necrosis was found in 8 (66%) of 12 HCCs by computed tomography scan. Of the remainder, diffuse tumor recurrence was demonstrated in three lesions (25%) after lipiodol injection and there was one local tumor recurrence. In the metastases group complete necrosis was found in 5 of 11 lesions (45%). One major complication (peritonitis) was treated with antibiotics and four (26%) minor complications (right pleural effusion, small subcapsular hematoma) were monitored.
Conclusions: Radiofrequency ablation appears to be an effective, safe and relatively simple procedure for the treatment of liver tumors.
 HCC = hepatocellular carcinoma