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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2011 Jun;196(6):W837-43. doi: 10.2214/AJR.10.5202.

Distant infusion of saline may enlarge coagulation volume during radiofrequency ablation of liver tissue using cool-tip electrodes without impairing predictability.

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Unidad de Cirugía Hepática, Servicio de Cirugía General y Digestiva, Parc de Salut-Hospital del Mar de Barcelona, Passeig Maritim 25-29, Barcelona 08003, Spain.



Our aim was to evaluate the capability of a Cool-tip electrode to create larger coagulation volumes combined with a low-flow (0.1 mL/min) perfusion of hypertonic saline at a distance of 2 mm (hybrid applicator) without reducing either predictability or sphericity of the coagulation zone.


A total of 48 radiofrequency ablations were performed on a total of 12 adult pigs: 24 with the Cool-tip (group 1) and 24 with the hybrid applicator (group 2). Volumes and diameters were assessed both macroscopically and with imaging techniques (ultrasound and MRI). Digital reconstruction techniques were also used. Reproducibility of the coagulations was assessed by means of the coefficient of variation.


The macroscopic assessment showed a significantly larger coagulation zone in group 2 than in group 1, both with (19.40 ± 11.38 cm(3) vs 9.16 ± 5.62 cm(3); p < 0.001) and without (19.54 ± 11.39 cm(3) vs 9.21 ± 5.74 cm(3); p < 0.001) digital reconstruction. Differences were also significant in the MRI assessment. The minimum transverse diameter was also significantly (p < 0.01) larger in group 2 than group 1: 2.46 ± 0.61 versus 1.86 ± 0.55 cm for macroscopic assessment, 2.33 ± 0.96 versus 1.69 ± 0.53 cm for ultrasound, and 2.41 ± 0.58 versus 1.8 ± 0.52 cm for MRI. The coefficient of variation was similar in both groups.


The results suggest that low-flow perfusion of hypertonic saline at 2 mm from a Cool-tip electrode could increase coagulation zone volume without reducing predictability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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