Efficacy and safety of radiofrequency ablation in the treatment of low-risk papillary thyroid carcinoma: a review

Abstract

Ultrasound-guided radiofrequency ablation (RFA) has recently been used for the treatment of thyroid carcinomas. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of RFA for treating low-risk papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTCs). We searched the MEDLINE and the SCOPUS databases up to December 29, 2020, for studies assessing the efficacy and safety of RFA in the management of low-risk PTCs. Data on volume reduction ratio (VRR), complete disappearance, carcinoma recurrence, and complication frequency were collected. Thirteen studies with a total of 1389 patients and 1422 tumors were included in the synthesis of this study. Mean VRR varied between 47.8 and 100%, with most studies reporting a ratio of 98.5–100%. The ratio of complete disappearance ranged between 33.7 and 100%, although studies with a prolonged follow-up period reported a frequency of 56–100%. The tumor progression/recurrence frequency was 0–4.5%. Complications occurred in 45 patients (3.2%). Mild-moderate pain and cervical discomfort were the most common complications and no life-threatening complications were reported. Based on these data, we suggest that ultrasound-guided RFA can serve as an efficacious and safe alternative for the treatment of low-risk PTC in patients who are unable or unwilling to receive surgical therapy.

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Dimitrios Linos had the idea for the article. Spyridon Ntelis performed the literature search and data analysis, and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. Dimitrios Linos critically revised the work.

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Correspondence to Dimitrios Linos.

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Ntelis, S., Linos, D. Efficacy and safety of radiofrequency ablation in the treatment of low-risk papillary thyroid carcinoma: a review. Hormones (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42000-021-00283-5

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Keywords

  • Thyroid
  • Cancer
  • Papillary carcinoma
  • Radiofrequency ablation