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Int J Hyperthermia. 2018;35(1):216-225. doi: 10.1080/02656736.2018.1489984. Epub 2018 Oct 9.

Comparison between microwave ablation and bipolar radiofrequency ablation in benign thyroid nodules: differences in energy transmission, duration of application and applied shots.

Author information

1
a Department of Endocrine Surgery , Burgerhospital Frankfurt , Frankfurt, Germany.
2
b Department of Nuclear Medicine , University Hospital Frankfurt , Frankfurt, Germany.
3
c Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology , University Hospital Frankfurt , Frankfurt, Germany.
4
d German Center of Thermoablation , Frankfurt , Germany.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Comparison between different thermal ablation systems for thyroid nodules regarding their different procedural characteristics such as treatment-time, number of shots and energy transmission in the context of their clinical performance such as complication rate and volume reduction after three months.

METHODS:

A total of 60 patients with 65 nodules underwent thermal ablation of thyroid nodules with either microwave ablation (MWA) (9 male, 15 female and mean age 57 ± 13 years) or radiofrequency ablation (RFA) (12 male, 24 female and mean age 54 ± 12 years).

RESULTS:

Mean initial volume (MWA: 23.90 ± 17.35 ml; RFA: 29.44 ± 30.09 ml), energy transmission (MWA: 13.56 ± 10.17 kJ; RFA: 15.12 ± 13.45 kJ), energy transmission per ml (MWA: 0.85 ± 1.01 kJ/ml; RFA: 0.65 ± 0.32 kJ/ml), power (MWA: 22.69 ± 12.32 J/s; RFA: 20.97 ± 7.86 J/s) and duration of ablation (MWA: 618 ± 304 s; RFA: 695 ± 463 s) were not statistically different (p > .05). MWA required significantly less shots (MWA: 3 ± 1; RFA: 6 ± 3) than RFA (p < .05). At three-months follow-up a significant mean nodular volume reduction of 53.54 ± 15.40% after MWA and 51.21 ± 16.58% after RFA (p < .05) was measured. However, mean nodular volume reduction was not significantly different between both systems (p > .05). One patient treated by MWA reported a transient Horner's syndrome, which recovered without any further treatment. Major complications such as nodule rupture, infection or persisting nerve injuries did not occur.

CONCLUSION:

Both systems are suitable to treat thyroid nodules and show no significant difference in the duration of application, energy transmission and volume reduction. However, MWA requires less shots to treat the whole nodule.

KEYWORDS:

Radiofrequency/microwave; quality assurance; thermal ablation

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