Effect of ultrasound-guided radiofrequency ablation in incompletely treated hepatocellular carcinoma after transcatheter arterial chemoembolization

Nam Kyu Chang, Sang Soo Shin, Jin Woong Kim, Hyung Jun Kim, Yong Yeon Jeong, Suk Hee Heo, Jae Kyu Kim, Heoung Keun Kang
Korean Journal of Radiology: Official Journal of the Korean Radiological Society 2012, 13 Suppl 1: S104-11

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of ultrasound-guided radiofrequency (RF) ablation in patients with incompletely treated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) and to evaluate possible prognostic factors for this therapy.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Thirty nine patients with incompletely treated single HCC (≤ 5 cm) after TACE were treated with RF ablation. All patients were evaluated for complete tumor ablation rate, local recurrence-free rate, overall survival rate, and complications. Local recurrence-free rate and overall survival rate were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method. The possible prognostic factors of local recurrence-free rate and survival rate were analyzed using Cox proportional-hazards regression model.

RESULTS: The complete tumor ablation rate was 92.3%. Local recurrence-free rates for 1-, 2-, 3-, and 5-years were 81.7%, 63.1%, 53.6%, and 35.7%, respectively. One-, 2-, 3-, and 5-year overall survival rates were 96.9%, 82.9%, 67.8%, and 48.4%, respectively. Among prognostic factors included in the analysis, only tumor diameter (≤ 2 cm versus > 2 cm) was statistically significant in terms of predicting local recurrence. Complications were observed in two patients, one with liver abscess and the other with portal venous thrombosis.

CONCLUSION: Ultrasound-guided RF ablation could be effective and safe in treating incompletely treated HCC after TACE. The diameter of HCC was a significant prognostic factor for local recurrence.

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