Radiofrequency Ablation of Hepatic Tumor: Subjective Assessment of the Perilesional Vascular Network on Contrast-Enhanced Computed Tomography Before and After Ablation Can Reliably Predict the Risk of Local Recurrence

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To determine whether simple, subjective analysis of the perilesional vascular network can predict the risk of local recurrence after radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of liver malignancies on contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CECT).


Contrast-enhanced computed tomography's 103 patients (59 men and 44 women; mean age, 63 years (range, 31–84 years) with 134 lesions who underwent RFA between 2000 and 2010 were retrospectively analyzed. The primary tumors include colorectal carcinoma (58 patients), hepatocellular carcinoma (n = 13), breast carcinoma (n = 8), neuroendocrine tumor (n = 5), and others (n = 19). Three blinded radiologists independently reviewed the CECT (a triple phase liver protocol for hypervascular tumors and a single phase for the hypovascular tumors) before and 6 weeks after RFA and subjectively estimated the width of the ablative margin on a 3-point scale (optimal, 1; suboptimal, 2; and residual tumor, 3). Local recurrence was determined on follow-up CECT.


The consensus score was 1 in 94, 2 in 28, and 3 in 12 lesions. κ among readers was 0.75. Local recurrence occurred in 3 lesions with a score of 1 and 12 lesions with a score of 2. The consensus score was a significant univariate predictor of local recurrence.


Subjective estimation of the width of ablative margin can reliably predict the risk of local recurrence.

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