Background & aims: Ablation plays an important role in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma. Because image-guided navigation technology has recently entered the clinical setting, we aimed to analyse its safety, therapeutic and procedural efficiency.
Methods: Retrospective analysis of patients treated with stereotactic image-guided microwave ablation (SMWA) between January 2015 and December 2017. Interventions were performed using computertomography-guidance with needle trajectory, ablation planning and automatic single-marker patient registration. Needle placement and ablation coverage was controlled by image fusion under general anaesthesia with jet-ventilation.
Results: In total 174 ablations were performed in 88 patients during 119 interventions. Mean age was 66 (46-84) years, 74 (84.1%) were men and 74% were Child Pugh Class A. Median tumour size was 16 (4-45) mm, 62.2% were BCLC A. Median lateral and longitudinal error of needle placement were 3.2 (0.2-14.1) and 1.6 (0-15.8) mm. Median one tumour (1-4) was ablated per session. One patient developed a Dindo IIIb (0.8%) complication, six minor complications. After re-ablation of 12 lesions, an efficacy rate of 96.3% was achieved. Local tumour progression was 6.3% (11/174). Close proximity to major vessels was significantly correlated with local tumour progression (P < .05). Median overall follow-up was 17.5 months after intervention and 24 months after initial diagnosis. BCLC stage, child class and previous treatment were significantly correlated with overall survival (P < .05).
Conclusion: Stereotactic image-guided microwave ablation is a safe and efficient treatment for HCC offering a curative treatment approach in general and in particular for lesions not detectable on conventional imaging or untreatable because of difficult anatomic locations.
Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma; microwave ablation; navigation; stereotactic.
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.