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Radiology. 2001 Jul;220(1):145-9.

Percutaneous radio-frequency ablation of liver metastases from breast cancer: initial experience in 24 patients.

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Department of Radiology, Ospedale Civile, Vimercate, Italy.



To evaluate the authors' initial experience in a consecutive series of 24 patients with breast cancer liver metastases treated with radio-frequency (RF) ablation.


Twenty-four consecutive patients with 64 metastases measuring 1.0--6.6 cm in diameter (mean, 1.9 cm) underwent ultrasonography-guided percutaneous RF ablation with 18-gauge, internally cooled electrodes. Treatment was performed with the patient under conscious sedation and analgesia or general anesthesia. A single lesion was treated in 16 patients, and multiple lesions were treated in eight patients. Follow-up with serial computed tomography ranged from 4 to 44 months (mean, 10 months; median, 19 months).


Complete necrosis was achieved in 59 (92%) of 64 lesions. Among the 59 lesions, complete necrosis required a single treatment session in 58 lesions (92%) and two treatment sessions in one lesion (2%). In 14 (58%) of 24 patients, new metastases developed during follow-up. Ten (71%) of these 14 patients developed new liver metastases. Currently, 10 (63%) of 16 patients whose lesions were initially confined to the liver are free of disease. One patient died of progressive brain metastases. No major complications occurred. Two minor complications were observed.


On the basis of preliminary study results, percutaneous RF ablation appears to be a simple, safe, and effective treatment for focal liver metastases in selected patients with breast cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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