Radiofrequency ablation of hepatocellular carcinoma: Current status

World J Radiol. 2010 Nov 28;2(11):417-24. doi: 10.4329/wjr.v2.i11.417.

Abstract

Ablation therapy is one of the best curative treatment options for malignant liver tumors, and can be an alternative to resection. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of primary and secondary liver cancers can be performed safely using percutaneous, laparoscopic, or open surgical techniques, and RFA has markedly changed the treatment strategy for small hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Percutaneous RFA can achieve the same overall and disease-free survival as surgical resection for patients with small HCC. The use of a laparoscopic or open approach allows repeated placements of RFA electrodes at multiple sites to ablate larger tumors. RFA combined with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization will make the treatment of larger tumors a clinically viable treatment alternative. However, an accurate evaluation of treatment response is very important to secure successful RFA therapy. Since a sufficient safety margin (at least 0.5 cm) can prevent local tumor recurrences, an accurate evaluation of treatment response is very important to secure successful RFA therapy. To minimize complications of RFA, clinicians should be familiar with the imaging features of each type of complication. Appropriate management of complications is essential for successful RFA treatment.

Keywords: Hepatocellular carcinoma; Radiofrequency ablation; Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization.