Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of pulmonary tumors--is there a difference between treatment under general anaesthesia and under conscious sedation?

Eur J Radiol. 2006 Aug;59(2):168-74. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2006.04.010. Epub 2006 May 26.


Objective: This retrospective study aimed to compare feasibility, complication rate and local tumor control after radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of pulmonary tumors under conscious analgo-sedation (AS) versus general anaesthesia (GA).

Materials and methods: Within 36 months 21 patients had RFA (36 tumors, 26 treatment sessions). One patient suffered from NSCLC, 20 had metastases (breast (8/20), colorectal (6/20), renal cell (2/20), pharyngeal carcinoma (1/20), malignant melanoma (3/20)). Patients were no surgical candidates due to underlying comorbidities. Eleven of 26 treatments were performed under GA, while in 15 of 26 treatments AS was used. Follow-up was scheduled 24 h, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and then every 6 months after treatment.

Results: RFA was feasible in all treatments under GA, while under AS targeting of the lesion was not possible in 2/15. Six adverse events occurred in the GA group (three major, three minor), while seven complications happened in the AS group (three major, four minor) (p=0.57). During follow-up of 3-36 months local recurrence was detected in 3 of 21 tumors in the GA group and in 2 of 15 tumors in the AS group (p=0.79).

Discussion: Hospitalization, complication rates and types, and the rate of local tumor control did not differ substantially among both groups. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in technical success and feasibility.

Conclusion: RFA of pulmonary tumors under GA or AS did not result in different tumor control and complication rates, respectively. Therefore, AS should be used except in anxious or agitated patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anesthesia, General*
  • Catheter Ablation / methods*
  • Conscious Sedation*
  • Equipment Safety
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome