Cellular and vascular reactions in the liver to radio-frequency thermo-ablation with wet needle applicators. Study on juvenile domestic pigs

Eur Surg Res. Sep-Oct 2002;34(5):357-63. doi: 10.1159/000064000.


The aim of this animal experiment was to investigate the cellular and vascular reactions in the liver of juvenile domestic pigs produced by a radio-frequency thermoablation (RFTA) applicator perfused with saline solution.

Methods: A total of 13 coagulation necroses were produced in the liver of 3 anesthetized domestic pigs using RFTA. The pigs were dissected and the coagulations examined.

Results: The mean macroscopical length and width of the coagulation zones with a hemorrhagic marginal zone after a 5-minute application time were 34.1 +/- 8 mm (22-46 mm) and 20.8 +/- 4 mm (12 +/- 28 mm) respectively. The sonographically determined diameters correlated significantly (r(length) = 0.741 and r(width) = 0.923). Three areas in the coagulation zones could be histologically distinguished: (1) central necrosis zone, (2) hemorrhagic marginal zone, (3) sublethal damage zone. Large vessels did not show any substantial changes after RFTA. Venous vessels less than 1 mm were completely thermally denatured or destroyed.

Conclusions: Tumors in close proximity to large blood vessels can be treated by RFTA with 'wet electrodes'.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bile Ducts / pathology
  • Catheter Ablation / methods*
  • Hepatic Veins / pathology
  • Liver / blood supply
  • Liver / pathology*
  • Liver / surgery*
  • Liver Circulation
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Necrosis
  • Needles
  • Sus scrofa
  • Thrombosis / pathology