Necrotizing pancreatitis after radiofrequency destruction of pancreatic tumours

Eur J Surg Oncol. 2004 Feb;30(1):85-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2003.10.013.


Background: Intraoperative radiofrequency (RF) can be used to treat multiple small pancreatic tumours.

Patients and methods: Two patients with multiple pancreatic metastases from renal cancer were treated with RF destruction of the pancreatic tumours. The first was treated with a monopolar device and the second with a bipolar device. A high temperature (>90 degrees C) was used, and one patient underwent cooling of the intrapancreatic common bile duct.

Results: The destruction of tumours was effective. However, the two patients presented post-operatively a severe necrotizing pancreatitis, with life-threatening hemorrhagic complications.

Conclusion: RF destruction of pancreatic tumours is dangerous with current devices.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / secondary
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / surgery
  • Catheter Ablation / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Pancreatitis, Acute Necrotizing / etiology*