European Radiology

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 672–677 | Cite as

Radiofrequency ablation of lung metastases: factors influencing success

  • Alice R. GillamsEmail author
  • William R. Lees


This paper analyses the factors associated with successful radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of lung metastases. The study group comprised 37 patients [19 female, mean age 61 (34–83)] with 72 metastases who had follow-up CT scans available for analysis and for those with no recurrence >6 months follow-up. Internally cooled electrodes were used in 64 and expandable electrodes in 8. The tumour size and location, electrode type, number of ablations, duration of ablation, year of treatment and tumour contact with vessels larger than 3 mm were recorded. The mean tumour diameter was 1.8 cm (0.4–6.6 cm). Mean follow-up in those without recurrence was 13.1 months (6–48). Recurrence was common in larger tumours, occurring in 7/7 (100%) tumours >3.5 cm compared with 18/65 (28%) ≤ 3.5 cm (P < 0.01). Recurrence occurred in 14/24 (58%) tumours in direct contact with large vessels compared with 11/48 (23%) of the remainder (P = 0.04). On multivariate analysis, size was the dominant feature (P = 0.013); vessel contact and peripheral location did not reach significance (P = 0.056 and 0.054 respectively). Peripheral tumours less than 3.5 cm with no large vessel contact are the optimal tumours for RFA.


Radiofrequency ablation Lung metastases Thermal ablation 


  1. 1.
    Steinke K, Sewell PE, Dupuy D, Lencioni R, Helmberger T, Kee ST et al (2004) Pulmonary radiofrequency ablation–an international study survey. Anticancer Res 24(1):339–343PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Akeboshi M, Yamakado K, Nakatsuka A, Hataji O, Taguchi O, Takao M et al (2004) Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of lung neoplasms: initial therapeutic response. J Vasc Interv Radiol 15(5):463–470PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lee JM, Jin GY, Goldberg SN, Lee YC, Chung GH, Han YM et al (2004) Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation for inoperable non-small cell lung cancer and metastases: preliminary report. Radiology 230(1):125–134PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Yan TD, King J, Sjarif A, Glenn D, Steinke K, Morris DL (2006) Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of pulmonary metastases from colorectal carcinoma: prognostic determinants for survival. Ann Surg Oncol 13(11):1529–1537PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Yamakado K, Hase S, Matsuoka T, Tanigawa N, Nakatsuka A, Takaki H et al (2007) Radiofrequency ablation for the treatment of unresectable lung metastases in patients with colorectal cancer: a multicenter study in Japan. J Vasc Interv Radiol 18(3):393–398PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Inoue Y, Miki C, Hiro J, Ojima E, Yamakado K, Takeda K et al (2005) Improved survival using multi-modality therapy in patients with lung metastases from colorectal cancer: a preliminary study. Oncol Rep 14(6):1571–1576PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gadaleta C, Mattioli V, Colucci G, Cramarossa A, Lorusso V, Canniello E et al (2004) Radiofrequency ablation of 40 lung neoplasms: preliminary results. AJR Am J Roentgenol 183(2):361–368PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    King J, Glenn D, Clark W, Zhao J, Steinke K, Clingan P et al (2004) Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of pulmonary metastases in patients with colorectal cancer. Br J Surg 91(2):217–223PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Yasui K, Kanazawa S, Sano Y, Fujiwara T, Kagawa S, Mimura H et al (2004) Thoracic tumors treated with CT-guided radiofrequency ablation: initial experience. Radiology 231(3):850–857PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Simon CJ, Dupuy DE, DiPetrillo TA, Safran HP, Grieco CA, Ng T et al (2007) Pulmonary radiofrequency ablation: long-term safety and efficacy in 153 patients. Radiology 243(1):268–275PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    de Baere T, Palussiere J, Auperin A, Hakime A, Abdel-Rehim M, Kind M et al (2006) Midterm local efficacy and survival after radiofrequency ablation of lung tumors with minimum follow-up of 1 year: prospective evaluation. Radiology 240(2):587–596PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hiraki T, Sakurai J, Tsuda T, Gobara H, Sano Y, Mukai T et al (2006) Risk factors for local progression after percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of lung tumors: evaluation based on a preliminary review of 342 tumors. Cancer 107(12):2873–2880PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kang S, Luo R, Liao W, Wu H, Zhang X, Meng Y (2004) Single group study to evaluate the feasibility and complications of radiofrequency ablation and usefulness of post treatment position emission tomography in lung tumours. World J Surg Oncol 2(1):30PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Belfiore G, Moggio G, Tedeschi E, Greco M, Cioffi R, Cincotti F et al (2004) CT-guided radiofrequency ablation: a potential complementary therapy for patients with unresectable primary lung cancer–a preliminary report of 33 patients. AJR Am J Roentgenol 183(4):1003–1011PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kelekis AD, Thanos L, Mylona S, Ptohis N, Malagari K, Nikita A et al (2006) Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of lung tumors with expandable needle electrodes: current status. Eur Radiol 16(11):2471–2482PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical ImagingUniversity College Hospital and University College London Medical SchoolLondonUK
  2. 2.Special Xray, Podium 2University College HospitalLondonUK

Personalised recommendations