The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between pleural temperature and pneumothorax or pleural effusion after radiofrequency (RF) ablation of lung tumors. The pleural temperature was measured immediately outside the lung surface nearest to the tumor with a fiber-type thermocouple during 25 ablation procedures for 34 tumors in 22 patients. The procedures were divided into two groups depending on the highest pleural temperature: P-group I and P-group II, with highest pleural temperatures of <40°C and ≥40°C, respectively. The incidence of pneumothorax or pleural effusion was compared between the groups. Multiple variables were compared between the groups to determine the factors that affect the pleural temperature. The overall incidence of pneumothorax and pleural effusion was 56% (14/25) and 20% (5/25), respectively. Temperature data in five ablation procedures were excluded from the analyses because these were affected by the pneumothorax. P-group I and P-group II comprised 10 procedures and 10 procedures, respectively. The incidence of pleural effusion was significantly higher in P-group II (4/10) than in P-group I (0/10) (p = 0.043). However, the incidence of pneumothorax did not differ significantly (p = 0.50) between P-group I (4/10) and P-group II (5/10). Factors significantly affecting the pleural temperature were distance between the electrode and the pleura (p < 0.001) and length of the lung parenchyma between the electrode and the pleura (p < 0.001). We conclude that higher pleural temperature appeared to be associated with the occurrence of pleural effusion and not with that of pneumothorax.
Radiofrequency ablation Lung neoplasm
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