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Australas Radiol. 2007 Dec;51(6):550-4.

Post-radiofrequency ablation syndrome after percutaneous radiofrequency of abdominal tumours: one centre experience and review of published works.

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Vascular and Interventional Radiology, Department of Radiology, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy.


The aim of this study was to evaluate prospectively post-radiofrequency ablation (RFA) syndrome and to determine its effect on the quality of life in the 15 days after percutaneous RFA treatment. We carried out an internal review board-approved prospective study of the delayed symptoms that occurred after 71 consecutive RFA sessions in 53 patients (12 women and 41 men; age range 45-83 years; mean age 71.6 years) with 45 primary liver tumours, 34 liver metastases, 3 renal cell carcinoma (RCC), 2 residual lesions from RCC after nephrectomy and 1 pancreatic metastases from RCC. Postablation symptoms occurred in 17 of 53 (32%) patients. Six of 17 patients developed low-grade fever (from 37.5 to 38.5 degrees C). Other symptoms included delayed pain (9/17), nausea (7/17), vomiting (3/17), malaise (3/17) and myalgia (1). Postablation syndrome is a common phenomenon after RFA of solid abdominal tumours. Not only in our study but also in the previous ones the occurrence is observed in approximately one-third patients. Patients should be informed that these symptoms are self-limiting after RFA and most patients should be able to resume near-complete preprocedural levels of activity within 10 days after the procedure.

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