Robot-assisted microwave thermoablation of liver tumors: a single-center experience

Int J Comput Assist Radiol Surg. 2016 Feb;11(2):253-9. doi: 10.1007/s11548-015-1286-y. Epub 2015 Aug 26.


Purpose: To evaluate and compare the needle placement accuracy, patient dose, procedural time, complication rate and ablation success of microwave thermoablation using a novel robotic guidance approach and a manual approach.

Methods: We performed a retrospective single-center evaluation of 64 microwave thermoablations of liver tumors in 46 patients (10 female, 36 male, mean age 66 years) between June 2014 and February 2015. Thirty ablations were carried out with manual guidance, while 34 ablations were performed using robotic guidance. A 6-week follow-up (ultrasound, computed tomography and MRI) was performed on all patients.

Results: The total procedure time and dose-length product were significantly reduced under robotic guidance (18.3 vs. 21.7 min, [Formula: see text]; 2216 vs. 2881 mGy[Formula: see text]cm, [Formula: see text]). The position of the percutaneous needle was more accurate using robotic guidance (needle deviation 1.6 vs. 3.3 mm, [Formula: see text]). There was no significant difference between both groups regarding the complication rate and the ablation success.

Conclusion: Robotic assistance for liver tumor ablation reduces patient dose and allows for fast positioning of the microwave applicator with high accuracy. The complication rate and ablation success of percutaneous microwave thermoablation of malignant liver tumors using either CT fluoroscopy or robotic guidance for needle positioning showed no significant differences in the 6-week follow-up.

Keywords: CT-guided; Interventional radiology; Liver tumor; Microwave ablation; Robotic assistance.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Catheter Ablation / methods*
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Microwaves / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures / instrumentation*
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome