CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 868–874 | Cite as

Complications of Microwave Ablation for Liver Tumors: Results of a Multicenter Study

  • Tito LivraghiEmail author
  • Franca Meloni
  • Luigi Solbiati
  • Giorgio Zanus
  • For the Collaborative Italian Group using AMICA system
Clinical Investigation



New technologies for microwave ablation (MWA) have been conceived, designed to achieve larger areas of necrosis compared with radiofrequency ablation (RFA). The purpose of this study was to report complications by using this technique in patients with focal liver cancer.


Members of 14 Italian centers used a 2.45-GMHz generator delivering energy through a cooled miniature-choke MW antenna and a standardized protocol for follow-up. They completed a questionnaire regarding number and type of deaths, major and minor complications and side effects, and likelihood of their relationship to the procedure. Enrollment included 736 patients with 1.037 lesions: 522 had hepatocellular carcinoma with cirrhosis, 187 had metastases predominantly from colorectal cancer, and 27 had cholangiocellular carcinoma. Tumor size ranged from 0.5 to 10 cm. In 13 centers, the approach used was percutaneous, in 4 videolaparoscopic, and in 3 laparotomic.


No deaths were reported. Major complications occurred in 22 cases (2.9%), and minor complications in 54 patients (7.3%). Complications of MWA do not differ from those RFA, both being based on the heat damage.


Results of this multicenter study confirmed those of single-center experiences, indicating that MWA is a safe procedure, with no mortality and a low rate of major complications. The low rate of complications was probably due to precautions adopted, knowing in advance possible risk conditions, on the basis of prior RFA experience.


Hepatocellular carcinoma, therapy Microwave ablation, treatment Microwave ablation, complications Liver metastases, therapy Minimally invasive procedures 



The authors thank Mrs. Rosalind Roberts for the English editing.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC and the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe (CIRSE) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tito Livraghi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Franca Meloni
    • 2
  • Luigi Solbiati
    • 3
  • Giorgio Zanus
    • 4
  • For the Collaborative Italian Group using AMICA system
  1. 1.Department of Interventional RadiologyIRCCS Istituto Clinico HumanitasRozzanoItaly
  2. 2.Department of RadiologySan Gerardo HospitalMonzaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Interventional RadiologyAzienda Ospedaliera di Busto ArsizioVareseItaly
  4. 4.General Surgery and Organ TransplantationAzienda Università di PadovaPadovaItaly

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