The imprint of radiofrequency in the management of hepatocellular carcinoma

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Abstract

Background.

This article reviews the current results of radiofrequency application in the management of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with reference to the comparison between the different surgical modalities.

Method.

An electronic search was performed for studies on the treatment of HCC.

Results.

Thermoablation by means of radiofrequency (RFA), microwave coagulation therapy (MCT) and laser-induced thermotherapy (LITT) provides tumor necrosis with a low complication rate. These methods are still not predictable and it is difficult to monitor the extent of necrosis in a real-time manner. Combined transarterial embolization and RF ablation is a promising strategy for large HCCs. Radiofrequency-assisted liver resection is unique and has become very popular recently because it permits parenchymal transection with minimal blood loss.

Conclusion.

Many alternative techniques have been applied recently for the management of HCC but their exact roles need to be defined by randomized studies. Advances in technology and refinements in technique may provide an effective and predictable way to ablate liver tumors using radiofrequency devices.

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