Radiofrequency ablation combined with chemoembolization for intermediate-sized (3-5 cm) hepatocellular carcinomas under dual guidance of biplane fluoroscopy and ultrasonography

Ji Hye Min, Min Woo Lee, Dong Ik Cha, Yong Hwan Jeon, Sung Wook Shin, Sung Ki Cho, Hyunchul Rhim, Hyo K Lim
Korean Journal of Radiology: Official Journal of the Korean Radiological Society 2013, 14 (2): 248-58

OBJECTIVE: To assess the technical feasibility and local efficacy of percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) combined with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) for an intermediate-sized (3-5 cm in diameter) hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) under the dual guidance of biplane fluoroscopy and ultrasonography (US).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients with intermediate-sized HCCs were treated with percutaneous RFA combined with TACE. RFA was performed under the dual guidance of biplane fluoroscopy and US within 14 days after TACE. We evaluated the rate of major complications on immediate post-RFA CT images. Primary technique effectiveness rate was determined on one month follow-up CT images. The cumulative rate of local tumor progression was estimated with the use of Kaplan-Meier method.

RESULTS: Twenty-one consecutive patients with 21 HCCs (mean size: 3.6 cm; range: 3-4.5 cm) were included. After TACE (mean: 6.7 d; range: 1-14 d), 20 (95.2%) of 21 HCCs were visible on fluoroscopy and were ablated under dual guidance of biplane fluoroscopy and US. The other HCC that was poorly visible by fluoroscopy was ablated under US guidance alone. Major complications were observed in only one patient (pneumothorax). Primary technique effectiveness was achieved for all 21 HCCs in a single RFA session. Cumulative rates of local tumor progression were estimated as 9.5% and 19.0% at one and three years, respectively.

CONCLUSION: RFA combined with TACE under dual guidance of biplane fluoroscopy and US is technically feasible and effective for intermediate-sized HCC treatment.

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