European Radiology

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 1206–1213 | Cite as

Five-year survival in 309 patients with colorectal liver metastases treated with radiofrequency ablation

  • A. R. GillamsEmail author
  • W. R. Lees


There is little published long-term survival data for patients with colorectal liver metastases treated with radiofrequency ablation (RFA). We present a multivariate analysis of 5-year survival in 309 patients (198 male, aged 64 (24–92)) treated at 617 sessions. Our standard protocol used internally cooled electrodes introduced percutaneously under combined US and CT guidance/monitoring. The number and size of liver metastases, the presence and location of extrahepatic disease, primary resection, clinical, chemotherapy and follow-up data were recorded. Data analysis was performed using SPSS v.10. On multivariate analysis, significant survival factors were the presence of extrahepatic disease (p < 0.001) and liver tumour volume (p = 0.001). For 123 patients with five or less metastases of 5 cm or less maximum diameter and no extrahepatic disease median survival was 46 and 36 months from liver metastasis diagnosis and ablation, respectively; corresponding 3- and 5-year survival rates were 63%, 34% and 49%, 24%. Sixty-nine patients had three or less tumours of below 3.5 cm in diameter and their 5-year survival from ablation was 33%. There were 23/617(3.7%) local complications requiring intervention. Five-year survival of 24–33% post ablation in selected patients is superior to any published chemotherapy data and approaches the results of liver resection.


Radiofrequency ablation Secondary liver tumours Colorectal liver metastases Thermal ablation 


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University College Hospital and University College London Medical SchoolLondonUK
  2. 2.Special Xray, Podium 2UCHLondonUK

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