Radiofrequency Ablation of Hepatic Tumors: Variability of Lesion Size Using a Single Ablation Device

Richard S. Montgomery, Andres Rahal, Gerald D. Dodd, John R. Leyendecker, Linda G. Hubbard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. In this study, we examined the variability of lesion sizes produced by a single radiofrequency ablation using the same device and algorithm in patients with small malignant hepatic tumors. MATERIALS AND METHODS. A review of the clinical records of 208 patients who underwent radiofrequency ablation of malignant hepatic tumors during a 6-year period revealed 31 patients with small tumors that were treated with a single ablation. Clinical data were recorded using standardized work sheets. Tumor and lesion sizes after ablation were measured from CT scans. The influences of tumor size, tumor type, presence or absence of cirrhosis, and tissue temperature on the ablation size were analyzed. RESULTS. The size of tumor before treatment ranged from 0.8 to 4.0 cm (mean diameter [±SD] = 1.8 ± 0.9 cm) with corresponding volumes of 0.27-30.24 mL (mean volume = 27.1 ± 15.9 mL). The lesion sizes after ablation ranged from 1.7 to 5.3 cm (mean diameter = 3.6 ± 0.7 cm) with corresponding volumes of 2.29-75.87 mL (mean volume = 4.9 ± 7.1 mL). Tumor type (p > 0.25), presence or absence of cirrhosis (p > 0.45), and tissue temperature (p = 0.055) had no relationship to ablation size. Tumor size had a statistically significant influence on ablation lesion size (p < 0.04). Ablation of small tumors (diameter > 2.25 cm, n = 32) produced random lesion sizes whereas ablation of large tumors (diameter > 2.25 cm, n = 11) produced larger lesions (mean diameter = 4.0 ± 0.8 cm). CONCLUSION. Significant variation occurs in the lesion size produced using the same ablation device and algorithm. These findings must be considered when planning ablation strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)657-661
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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