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Radiology. 2004 Jan;230(1):135-41. Epub 2003 Nov 20.

Recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma: percutaneous radiofrequency ablation after hepatectomy.

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



To evaluate the therapeutic efficacy and safety of percutaneous radiofrequency (RF) ablation for recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the liver after hepatectomy.


Forty-five patients with 53 recurrent HCC tumors in the liver underwent percutaneous RF ablation with ultrasonographic guidance. All patients had a history of hepatic resection for HCC. The mean diameter of recurrent tumors was 2.1 cm (range, 0.8-4.0 cm). All patients were followed up for at least 10 months after ablation (range, 10-40 months; mean, 23 months). Therapeutic efficacy and complications were evaluated with multiphase helical computed tomography (CT) at regular follow-up visits. Overall and disease-free survival rates were calculated.


At follow-up CT after initial RF ablation, 11 (21%) of 53 ablated HCC tumor sites showed residual tumor or local tumor progression. After additional RF ablation, complete ablation of 46 (87%) of 53 tumors was attained. Also at initial follow-up CT, before either additional RF ablation or other treatment was performed, 21 (47%) of 45 patients were found to have 41 new HCC tumors at other liver sites. Of these, nine tumors in eight patients were treatable with a second application of RF ablation. Overall survival rates at 1, 2, and 3 years were 82%, 72%, and 54%, respectively. No deaths or complications requiring further treatment occurred as a result of RF ablation.


Percutaneous RF ablation is an effective and safe method for treating recurrent HCC in the liver after hepatectomy, with a good overall patient survival rate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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