Percutaneous Laser Ablation of Liver Metastases from Neuroendocrine Neoplasm. A Retrospective Study for Safety and Effectiveness

  • Sergio SartoriEmail author
  • Paola Tombesi
  • Francesca Di Vece
  • Lara Bianchi
  • Rosaria Ambrosio
Clinical Investigation Interventional Oncology
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Interventional Oncology



To retrospectively assess safety and efficacy of laser ablation (LA) of multiple liver metastases (LM) from neuroendocrine neoplasms (NEN).


Twenty-one patients with NEN and at least 3 LM ≤ 4 cm in diameter underwent ultrasonography-guided LA. Up to seven LM were ablated in a single session; if the number of LM exceeded seven, the remaining LM were ablated in further LA sessions with a time interval of 3–4 weeks. LA was performed according to the multifiber technique. The patients underwent contrast-enhanced CT 1 month after LA, and were subsequently monitored every 3 months for the first 2 years and then every 6 months.


In total, 189 LM were treated in 21 patients (mean 9 ± 8.2, median 6) in 41 LA sessions (range 1–5). The diameter of LM ranged from 5 to 35 mm (median 19 mm, mean 17.9 ± 6.4 mm). One grade 4 complication occurred (0.53%): a bowel perforation managed by surgery. Technical efficacy was 100%, primary efficacy rate 94.7%, and secondary efficacy rate 100%. Complete relief of hormone-related symptoms was obtained in all the 13 symptomatic patients. Median follow-up was 39 months (range 12–99). 1-, 2-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates were 95%, 86%, 66%, and 40%, respectively. Overall survival resulted higher for patients with Ki-67 expression ≤ 7% than for those with Ki-67 > 7% (p = 0.0347).


LA is a promising and safe technique to treat LM from NEN. A longer follow-up should provide definitive information on the long-term efficacy of this liver-directed therapy.

Level of Evidence

Retrospective study, local non-random sample, level 3.


Neuroendocrine tumors Liver neoplasms Ablation techniques Laser therapy 



This study was not supported by any funding.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

This study has obtained institutional review board approval from the IRB of St. Anna Hospital, and the need for informed consent was waived.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature and the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe (CIRSE) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section of Interventional UltrasoundSt. Anna HospitalFerraraItaly
  2. 2.Endocrinology UnitSt. Anna HospitalFerraraItaly

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