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J Hepatol. 2005 Apr;42(4):535-40.

Treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma in compensated cirrhosis with radio-frequency thermal ablation (RFTA): a prospective study.

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Cattedra e Unità Operativa di Gastroenterologia, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.



To assess the effectiveness and the safety of radio-frequency thermal ablation (RFTA) in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) < or = 5 cm in compensated cirrhosis.


A cohort of 202 consecutive patients (165 Child-Pugh class A and 37 class B) was prospectively assessed. A single lesion was observed in 160/202 (79.2%), two lesions in 29/202 (14.3%), and three lesions in 13/202 (6.4%) of patients.


Sixty-seven patients died. Survival rates were 80% at 12 months, 67% at 24 months and 57% at 30 months (Child-Pugh A 59% and Child-Pugh B 48%). By Cox regression analysis, survival was independently predicted by serum albumin levels > or = 35 g/L, platelet count > or = 100.000/mmc, tumor size < or = 3 cm, complete response at 1 month and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) staging classification. Overall recurrence rates were 22, 38, and 44% at 12, 24, and 30 months, respectively. One procedure-related death occurred. The proportion of major complications after treatment was 3.9%.


A complete response after RFTA significantly increases survival. The longest survival is obtained in the presence of HCC < or = 3 cm and of higher baseline albumin levels and platelet counts. BCLC staging classification is able to discriminate patients with good or poor prognosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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