CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 773–782 | Cite as

Superselective Particle Embolization Enhances Efficacy of Radiofrequency Ablation: Effects of Particle Size and Sequence of Action

  • Toshihiro Tanaka
  • Peter Isfort
  • Till Braunschweig
  • Saskia Westphal
  • Anna Woitok
  • Tobias Penzkofer
  • Philipp Bruners
  • Kimihiko Kichikawa
  • Thomas Schmitz-Rode
  • Andreas H. Mahnken
Laboratory Investigation



To evaluate the effects of particle size and course of action of superselective bland transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE) on the efficacy of radiofrequency ablation (RFA).


Twenty pigs were divided into five groups: group 1a, 40-μm bland TAE before RFA; group 1b, 40-μm bland TAE after RFA; group 2a, 250-μm bland TAE before RFA; group 2b, 250-μm bland TAE after RFA and group 3, RFA alone. A total of 40 treatments were performed with a combined CT and angiography system. The sizes of the treated zones were measured from contrast-enhanced CTs on days 1 and 28. Animals were humanely killed, and the treated zones were examined pathologically.


There were no complications during procedures and follow-up. The short-axis diameter of the ablation zone in group 1a (mean ± standard deviation, 3.19 ± 0.39 cm) was significantly larger than in group 1b (2.44 ± 0.52 cm; P = 0.021), group 2a (2.51 ± 0.32 cm; P = 0.048), group 2b (2.19 ± 0.44 cm; P = 0.02), and group 3 (1.91 ± 0.55 cm; P < 0.001). The greatest volume of ablation was achieved by performing embolization with 40-μm particles before RFA (group 1a; 20.97 ± 9.65 cm3). At histology, 40-μm microspheres were observed to occlude smaller and more distal arteries than 250-μm microspheres.


Bland TAE is more effective before RFA than postablation embolization. The use of very small 40-μm microspheres enhances the efficacy of RFA more than the use of larger particles.


Embolization Experimental interventional radiology Interventional oncology Radiofrequency ablation 



The authors acknowledge the advice of Marian Pahud (Valkenburg, The Netherlands).

Conflict of interest

This study was sponsored in parts by CeloNova Bio-Sciences, San Antonio, TX, USA. This work was among the 10 % best-rated scientific papers at CIRSE 2012, and we were invited to submit it here. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York and the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe (CIRSE) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Toshihiro Tanaka
    • 1
    • 2
  • Peter Isfort
    • 2
    • 3
  • Till Braunschweig
    • 4
  • Saskia Westphal
    • 4
  • Anna Woitok
    • 5
  • Tobias Penzkofer
    • 2
    • 3
  • Philipp Bruners
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kimihiko Kichikawa
    • 1
  • Thomas Schmitz-Rode
    • 2
  • Andreas H. Mahnken
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyNara Medical UniversityKashiharaJapan
  2. 2.Applied Medical Engineering, Helmholtz-Institute AachenRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  3. 3.Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Aachen University HospitalRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  4. 4.Department of Pathology, Aachen University HospitalRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  5. 5.Institute for Laboratory Animal ScienceRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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