Send to

Choose Destination
AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2013 Mar;200(3):658-64. doi: 10.2214/AJR.12.8691.

Frequency of and risk factors for complications after liver radiofrequency ablation under CT fluoroscopic guidance in 1500 sessions: single-center experience.

Author information

Department of Interventional Radiology, Mie University School of Medicine, 2-174 Edobashi, Tsu Mie 514-8507, Japan.



The purpose of this article is to retrospectively evaluate the frequency of and risk factors for complications after liver radiofrequency ablation (RFA).


This was a retrospective study of 656 patients (with 1755 liver tumors) who underwent 1500 CT fluoroscopy-guided liver RFA sessions. Of those patients, 501 had primary liver tumor and 155 had liver metastases. Mortality and treatment-related complications were documented. Complications were evaluated according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (version 4.0). Major complications were defined as grade 3 or higher adverse events. Factors affecting frequent complications with a frequency of 1% or more were detected using multivariate analysis.


Two deaths (0.1% [2/1500]) occurred. One patient died of liver failure subsequent to hemorrhage, and the other died of liver failure. The major complication rate was 2.8% (42/1500). The most frequent major complication was hemorrhage (1.1% [16/1500]). The absence of arterial embolization before RFA (p < 0.01), low hemoglobin level (p < 0.04), and elevated serum creatinine level (p < 0.04) were identified as significant risk factors for major hemorrhage. The minor complication rate was 17.1% (257/1500). Pneumothorax (7.7% [116/1500]) was the most frequent minor complication, followed by hemorrhage (7.0% [105/1500]). A transthoracic approach (p < 0.01) and subphrenic tumor location (p < 0.01) were significant risk factors for pneumothorax, and the use of a cluster needle (p < 0.02) and multiple tumors (p < 0.01) were significant risk factors for minor hemorrhage.


CT fluoroscopy-guided RFA is a safe procedure with an acceptably low rate of major complications for liver tumor treatment. Factors identified in this study will help to stratify high-risk patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center