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Eur Radiol. 2009 Nov;19(11):2630-40. doi: 10.1007/s00330-009-1463-x. Epub 2009 Jun 26.

Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of hepatocellular carcinoma abutting the diaphragm and gastrointestinal tracts with the use of artificial ascites: safety and technical efficacy in 143 patients.

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


The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility, safety and efficacy of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) with the use of artificial ascites for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) adjacent to the diaphragm and gastrointestinal tract. One hundred forty-three patients with 181 HCCs who underwent US-guided percutaneous RFA with the use of artificial ascites were retrospectively reviewed. Among the 181 HCCs, 148 HCCs were defined as problematic nodules for two major reasons: poor sonic window or possible thermal injury. We artificially induced ascites before performing RFA by dripping 5% dextrose in a water solution. We assessed the technical success of introducing artificial ascites, technical feasibility of the use of artificial ascites and complications. The technical success rate, as well as the primary and secondary technique success rate, was assessed by regular follow-up CT examinations. RFA with artificial ascites was successfully achieved in 130 of 143 patients. The primary technique effectiveness was 85.3%. During follow-up (mean, 20.4 months), remote intrahepatic recurrence occurred in 49 patients and local tumor progression occurred in 15 patients. Three (2.1%) of the 143 patients experienced major complications (hemoperitoneum, lobar infarction and biloma) related to the RFA procedure. The use of artificial ascites is a simple and useful technique to minimize collateral thermal injury and to improve the sonic window.

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