Influence of radiofrequency ablation of lung cancer on pulmonary function

Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 2012 Aug;35(4):860-7. doi: 10.1007/s00270-011-0221-z. Epub 2011 Jul 2.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate altered pulmonary function retrospectively after RFA.

Methods: This retrospective study comprised 41 ablation sessions for 39 patients (22 men and 17 women; mean age, 64.8 years). Vital capacity (VC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV(1)) at 1 and 3 months after RFA were compared with the baseline (i.e., values before RFA). To evaluate the factors that influenced impaired pulmonary function, univariate analysis was performed by using multiple variables. If two or more variables were indicated as statistically significant by univariate analysis, these variables were subjected to multivariate analysis to identify independent factors.

Results: The mean VC and FEV(1) before RFA and 1 and 3 months after RFA were 3.04 and 2.24 l, 2.79 and 2.11 l, and 2.85 and 2.13 l, respectively. The values at 1 and 3 months were significantly lower than the baseline. Severe pleuritis after RFA was identified as the independent factor influencing impaired VC at 1 month (P = 0.003). For impaired FEV(1) at 1 month, only severe pleuritis (P = 0.01) was statistically significant by univariate analysis. At 3 months, severe pleuritis (VC, P = 0.019; FEV(1), P = 0.003) and an ablated parenchymal volume ≥20 cm(3) (VC, P = 0.047; FEV(1), P = 0.038) were independent factors for impaired VC and FEV(1).

Conclusions: Pulmonary function decreased after RFA. RFA-induced severe pleuritis and ablation of a large volume of marginal parenchyma were associated with impaired pulmonary function.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Catheter Ablation / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome