Radiofrequency ablation of 40 lung neoplasms: preliminary results

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2004 Aug;183(2):361-8. doi: 10.2214/ajr.183.2.1830361.


Objective: Radiofrequency thermal ablation is a minimally invasive treatment widely used for treatment of liver neoplasms and has also been tested on other types of tumor. Few studies have been published regarding the use of radiofrequency thermal ablation in the treatment of lung neoplasms. This study was performed to evaluate the technical feasibility, the safety, and the efficacy of lung radiofrequency thermal ablation.

Subjects and methods: Between February 2002 and March 2003, 18 subjects with unresectable lung neoplasms, four of whom had primary neoplasms and 14 of whom had metastatic neoplasms, underwent lung radiofrequency ablation. The technique was performed percutaneously using a monopolar cooled-tip electrode needle under CT guidance with the patient under general anesthesia. Patients had no more than three nodules with a total diameter of 10 cm and no evidence of extrathoracic disease. A total of 40 nodules were treated in 24 therapeutic sessions. After treatment, patients underwent follow-up every 3 months by CT and nuclear MRI with gadolinium for a median time of 8 months (range, 2-14 months).

Results: No evidence of local relapse was discovered in 94.4% of subjects. The treatment was safe and well tolerated. Complications encountered included massive pneumothorax, which occurred in one subject, requiring pleural drainage. Other complications were moderate pneumothorax (also requiring pleural drainage), cough, fever, slight dyspnea, and pain, but these complications were short in duration and successfully treated.

Conclusion: Radiofrequency thermal ablation is a promising technique in the treatment of patients with lung neoplasms and has been found to be both safe and technically feasible.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Catheter Ablation*
  • Contrast Media
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography, Interventional
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Contrast Media