, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 295-300
Date: 22 Dec 2011

Radiofrequency ablation for postoperative recurrences of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma

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Most recurrent intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (RICC) lost the opportunity of radical resection while most nonsurgical management failed to prolong patients’ survival. The efficacy and safety of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) as a local treatment for recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma have been confirmed by many clinical studies. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy, long-term survival and complications of RFA for RICC.


A total of 12 patients with 19 RICCs after radical resection were included in this study. The tumors were 1.9–6.8 cm at the maximum diameter (median, 3.2±1.6 cm). All patients were treated with ultrasound guided RFA. There were two RFA approaches including percutaneous and open.


A total of 18 RFA treatment sessions were performed. Ablation was successful (evaluated by 1-month CT after the initial RFA procedure) in 18 (94.7%) of 19 tumors. By a median follow-up period of 29.9 months after RFA, 5 patients received repeated RFA because of intrahepatic lesion recurrence. The median local recurrence-free survival period and median event-free survival period after RFA were 21.0 months and 13.0 months, respectively. The median overall survival was 30 months, and the 1- and 3-year survival rates were 87.5% and 37.5%, respectively. The complication rate was 5.6% (1/18 sessions). The only one major complication was pleural effusion requiring thoracentesis.


This study showed RFA may effectively and safely manage RICC with 3-year survival of 37.5%. It provides a treatment option for these RICC patients who lost chance for surgery.

This work was supported by the National “863” High-Tech Res & Dev Program of China (No. 2007AA02Z4B8) and the National Science Foundation for Young Scholars of China (No. 81101745).