European Radiology

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 877–885 | Cite as

Radiofrequency ablation of hepatic tumours: effect of post-ablation margin on local tumour progression

  • Chang-Hsien Liu
  • Ronald S. ArellanoEmail author
  • Raul N. Uppot
  • Anthony E. Samir
  • Debra A. Gervais
  • Peter R. Mueller



The purpose of this study was to retrospectively evaluate the relationship between post-ablation margins and local tumour progression following radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of hepatocellular carcinomas and colorectal liver metastases.


Eighty-three patients with 107 hepatic tumours who underwent RFA were divided into two groups: the hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) group (55 patients with 69 lesions) and the colorectal liver metastases group (28 patients with 38 lesions). Post-ablation margins were calculated on 1-month follow-up contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies. Efficacy was evaluated at 1-month post-ablation, then at 3-month intervals for the first year and biannually thereafter.


The results of the log-rank test showed that the minimum threshold post-ablation margin of 0.4 cm (P = 0.020) and tumour size smaller than 2.5 cm (P = 0.001) significantly correlated with local control for the HCC group. In the colorectal liver metastases group, the results of the log-rank test showed that the minimum threshold post-ablation margin of 0.4 cm (P = 0.345) and tumour size smaller than 2.5 cm (P = 0.168) did not correlate with local control.


Percutaneous RFA is more effective in achieving local control in patients with HCCs than with colorectal liver metastases.


Radiofrequency ablation Post-ablation margin Local tumour progression Hepatocellular carcinoma Colorectal liver metastasis 


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chang-Hsien Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ronald S. Arellano
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Raul N. Uppot
    • 1
  • Anthony E. Samir
    • 1
  • Debra A. Gervais
    • 1
  • Peter R. Mueller
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyTri-Service General Hospital and National Defense Medical CenterTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of Radiology, Division of Abdominal Imaging and Interventional RadiologyMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA

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