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J Hepatol. 2013 Jan;58(1):89-97. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2012.09.020. Epub 2012 Sep 27.

Ten-year outcomes of percutaneous radiofrequency ablation as first-line therapy of early hepatocellular carcinoma: analysis of prognostic factors.

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Department of Radiology and Center for Imaging Science, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.



The aim was to assess 10-year outcomes of radiofrequency ablation as a first-line therapy of early-stage hepatocellular carcinoma with an analysis of prognostic factors.


From April 1999 to April 2011, 1305 patients (male:female=993:312; mean age, 58.4 years) with 1502 early-stage hepatocellular carcinomas (mean size, 2.2 cm) were treated with percutaneous radiofrequency ablation as a first-line option. Follow-up period ranged from 0.4 to 146.6 months (median, 33.4 months). We assessed the 10-year follow-up results of recurrences and survival with the analyses of prognostic factors.


Recurrences occurred in 795 patients (1-17 times), which were managed with various therapeutic modalities. The cumulative local tumor progression rates were 27.0% and 36.9% at 5 and 10 years, respectively, for which the only significant risk factor was large tumor size (B=0.584, p=0.001). Cumulative intrahepatic distant and extrahepatic recurrence rates were 73.1% and 88.5%, and 19.1% and 38.2% at 5 and 10 years, respectively. Corresponding overall survival rates were 59.7% and 32.3%, respectively. Poor survival was associated with old age (B=0.043, p=0.010), Child-Pugh class B (B=-1.054, p<0.001), absence of antiviral therapy during follow-up (B=-0.699, p=0.034), and presence of extrahepatic recurrence (B=0.971, p=0.007).


Ten-year survival outcomes after percutaneous radiofrequency ablation as a first-line therapy of hepatocellular carcinoma were excellent despite frequent tumor recurrences. Overall survival was influenced by age, Child-Pugh class, antiviral therapy, or extrahepatic recurrence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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