A new local ablation for unresectable primary liver tumor: effect of electrothermal and electrochemical therapy on rat liver

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Background: Electrochemical therapy (ECT) has been used to treat unresectable hepatic tumor. In order to improve its efficacy, we combined ECT with hyperthermia induced by electrothermal needle (ETN) (ETECT). The aim of this study is to investigate the destructive effect of ETECT on normal rat liver. Methods: Twenty rats were randomized into 4 treatment groups (n=5 in each group): control, ECT alone, hyperthermia alone and ETECT. Following the treatment, sections of the livers were histologically examined by light microscopy and the destructive volumes were measured with micrometer. Results: We found that the destructive volumes in ETECT group were the largest (P<0.01). In ETECT group coagulative necrosis was found in both anode and cathode areas, around which transition zones existed. The transition zones can only be seen when coulomb was increased in ECT group. Conclusion: ETECT was demonstrated to enhance the destructive effect of ECT. This study provides theoretical and experimental basis for a new local ablative treatment for unresectable primary liver tumor.

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