, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 98-111
Date: 01 Apr 2012

Small hepatocellular carcinomas: ultrasonography guided percutaneous radiofrequency ablation

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Abstract

Current guidelines advocate percutaneous radiofrequency (RF) ablation as a standard treatment of early stage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) for up to three tumors ≤3 cm in diameter. The local efficacy evaluated with short-term radiological examination may be overrated, whereas that assessed by histopathological measure might be underestimated. Long-term clinical follow-up studies guarantee the effectiveness of RF ablation for small HCC, which is now almost comparable in benefits to surgical resection. US is the most common guiding modality for percutaneous RF ablation for small HCC. However, the technical feasibility is often limited due to poor conspicuity of the index tumor on US. Implementation of artificial ascites, contrast-enhanced harmonic US, and fusion imaging of US with CT/MR can be helpful to enhance the technical feasibility of US-guided RF ablation of small HCC.