Send to

Choose Destination
Ann Surg Oncol. 2012 Nov;19(12):3677-86. doi: 10.1245/s10434-012-2397-0. Epub 2012 May 17.

Short-term outcomes of ablation therapy for hepatic tumors: evidence from the 2006-2009 nationwide inpatient sample.

Author information

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.



Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for the treatment of hepatic tumors has been increasingly used across the United States. Whether treatment-related morbidity has remained low with broader adoption is unclear. We conducted this study to describe in-hospital morbidity associated with RFA for hepatic tumors and to identify predictors of adverse events in a nationally representative database.


Using the 2006-2009 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, we evaluated all patients aged ≥40 years who underwent an elective RFA for primary or metastatic liver tumors (N = 1298). Outcomes included in-hospital procedure-specific and postoperative complications. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to identify patient and facility predictors of complications.


Most patients underwent a percutaneous (39.9 %) or laparoscopic (22.0 %) procedure for metastatic liver tumors (57.5 %). Procedure-specific complications were frequent (18.2 %), with transfusion requirements (10.7 %), intraoperative bleeding (4.3 %), and hepatic failure (2.8 %) being the most common. Arrhythmias [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.93 (1.23-3.04)], coagulopathy [AOR = 4.65 (2.95-7.34)], and an open surgical approach [AOR = 2.77 (1.75-4.36)] were associated with an increased likelihood of procedure-specific complications, whereas hospital RFA volume ≥16/year was associated with a reduced likelihood [AOR = 0.59 (0.38-0.91)]. Postoperative complications were also common (12.0 %), with arrhythmias, heart failure, coagulopathy, and open surgical approach acting as significant predictors.


In-hospital morbidity is common after RFA for hepatic tumors. While several patient factors are associated with more frequent procedure-specific complications, treatment at hospitals with an annual volume ≥16 cases/year was associated with a 41 % reduction in the odds of procedure-specific complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center