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Korean J Radiol. 2018 Jan-Feb;19(1):54-62. doi: 10.3348/kjr.2018.19.1.54. Epub 2018 Jan 2.

Ultrasound-Guided Intraoperative Radiofrequency Ablation and Surgical Resection for Liver Metastasis from Malignant Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors.

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Department of Radiology, Asan Medical Center, Ulsan University College of Medicine, Seoul 05505, Korea.
Department of Surgery, Asan Medical Center, Ulsan University College of Medicine, Seoul 05505, Korea.
Department of Oncology, Asan Medical Center, Ulsan University College of Medicine, Seoul 05505, Korea.



To evaluate the effectiveness, safety, and feasibility of intraoperative radiofrequency ablation (IORFA) under ultrasound guidance for the treatment of liver metastases from gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs).

Materials and Methods:

From August 2009 to February 2017, 24 patients with liver metastases of GISTs underwent IORFA, 14 underwent concurrent IORFA and primary GIST resection, and 10 underwent IORFA to treat hepatic recurrence after previous primary GIST resection. Seventy-six hepatic metastases were treated, of which 47 were surgically resected and 29 underwent IORFA. All included patients received imatinib therapy as standard treatment before and after IORFA or surgical resection. A retrospective medical record review was conducted, and follow-up data were collected. Technical success and effectiveness, overall and GIST-specific survival, and complications were assessed.


The mean follow-up duration was 50.7 ± 34.7 months. The technical success rate of IORFA was 100%. New metastases developed in three of the 24 patients (12.5%) following a complete response 16, 51, and 95 months after IORFA, respectively. The cumulative one-, three-, and five-year overall survival rates were 100, 94.4, and 87.7%, respectively. The one-, three-, and five-year GIST-related survival rates were 100, 94.4, and 94.4%, respectively. Two major complications (biliary stricture and hepatic abscess) were observed.


IORFA appears to be a feasible and safe treatment option for liver metastasis in patients with primary GISTs. In addition, IORFA and surgical resection may be complementary, helping to obtain complete response in cases of otherwise inoperable liver metastases secondary to GISTs.


Gastrointestinal stromal tumor; Hepatic metastasis; Intraoperative; Radiofrequency ablation

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