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Radiology. 2001 Nov;221(2):447-54.

Hepatocellular carcinoma treated with percutaneous radio-frequency ablation: evaluation with follow-up multiphase helical CT.

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  • 1Department of Radiology and Gastrointestinal Center, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, 50 Ilwon-dong, Kangnam-ku, Seoul 135-710, South Korea.



To determine serial changes in hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) treated with percutaneous radio-frequency (RF) ablation at long-term follow-up multiphase helical computed tomography (CT).


There were 43 nodular HCCs in 40 patients at follow-up CT performed not less than 12 months after RF ablation. All patients underwent follow-up multiphase helical CT immediately, 1 month, and then every 3 months after percutaneous RF ablation. The serial changes in attenuation, enhancement pattern, shape, other findings, and volume of the ablated lesions were analyzed at follow-up CT.


Thirty-eight (88%) of 43 ablated lesions were of low attenuation, with absence of contrast material enhancement at immediate and 1-month follow-up CT, which is suggestive of successful treatment. The remaining five lesions (12%) showed peripheral nodular enhancement, suggesting residual viable tumor. Compared with volume changes at immediate follow-up CT, the mean percentages of volume change at 1, 4, 10, 16, and 19 months were 79%, 50%, 27%, 11%, and 6%, respectively. Of 43 ablated lesions, 24 (56%) were mostly round at immediate CT and remained unchanged at subsequent follow-up CT. Peripheral rim enhancement was seen in 34 (79%) of 43 lesions at immediate CT but resolved in all 34 lesions at 1-month follow-up CT. Other associated findings included iatrogenic arteriovenous shunt in 10 patients, perihepatic hemorrhage in three, and pneumothorax in one.


Follow-up multiphase helical CT of HCCs treated with percutaneous RF ablation showed variable findings in the treated lesions and surrounding liver parenchyma.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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