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Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 2010 Feb;33(1):11-7. doi: 10.1007/s00270-009-9736-y.

Quality improvement guidelines for radiofrequency ablation of liver tumours.

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Division of Diagnostic Imaging and Intervention, Department of Hepatology, Liver Transplants, and Infectious Diseases, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.


The development of image-guided percutaneous techniques for local tumour ablation has been one of the major advances in the treatment of liver malignancies. Among these methods, radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is currently established as the primary ablative modality at most institutions. RFA is accepted as the best therapeutic choice for patients with early-stage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) when liver transplantation or surgical resection are not suitable options. In addition, RFA is considered a viable alternate to surgery (1) for inoperable patients with limited hepatic metastatic disease, especially from colorectal cancer, and (2) for patients deemed ineligible for surgical resection because of extent and location of the disease or concurrent medical conditions. These guidelines were written to be used in quality-improvement programs to assess RFA of HCC and liver metastases. The most important processes of care are (1) patient selection, (2) performing the procedure, and (3) monitoring the patient. The outcome measures or indicators for these processes are indications, success rates, and complication rates.

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