Radiofrequency Ablation of Primary and Metastatic Hepatic Malignancies

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Radiofrequency interstitial tissue ablation is a local ablative therapy in which tumors are destroyed in situ by thermal coagulation and protein denaturation through frictional heating produced by tissue ionic agitation from high-frequency alternating current.This technology can be used to destroy primary and metastatic hepatic lesions generally considered nonresectable or nonoperable, thus providing patients with these tumors, who have few treatment options, a relatively safe and effective alternative with the potential for improved chance of survival. Knowledge of the broad spectrum of potential complications associated with radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is essential for prevention, early detection, and proper management. Combining RFA with other modalities such as surgical resection or hepatic artery infusional chemotherapy is feasible, has increased the pool of operable patients, and may improve treatment efficacy and clinical outcome in properly selected patients. The approach to perform RFA percutaneously, laparoscopically, or during laparatomy should take into consideration tumor characteristics, imaging and technical limitations, and the role of other treatment modalities. Therefore, patients considered for RFA should be evaluated within the context of a multidisciplinary approach to insure proper patient selection and coordination of adjunct therapy.

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