BACKGROUND: Radiofrequency Ablation is the most widely performed percutaneous treatment for Hepatocellular Carcinoma. This multicentre study was aimed at assessing the complication, overall survival and disease-free survival rates in cirrhotic patients with single Hepatocellular Carcinoma nodule ≤3cm undergoing Radiofrequency Ablation. METHODS: Data of 365 patients (59% males; mean age 67±8 years), Child-Pugh A/B, with single Hepatocellular Carcinoma nodule ≤3cm (tumours >2-3cm=127/236), showing complete necrosis after Radiofrequency Ablation between 1998 and 2010 in 7 Italian Centers were retrospectively reviewed. Complication, overall survival and disease-free survival rates were analyzed as main clinical end-points. RESULTS: Major complications were observed in 8 patients (2.2%) and minor complications in 23 patients (6.3%). The 3-, and 5-year overall survival rates were 80% and 64%. One hundred and seven patients (29.5%) died, being 41 deaths (38.3%) Hepatocellular Carcinoma-related. At multivariate analysis only age (p=0.04; OR 2.29), ascites (p<0.001; OR 3.74) and Child-Pugh class ≥B8 (p=0.003; OR 2.42) were confirmed as independent predictors for overall survival. The disease-free survival rates at 3- and 5-year were 50%, and 41.8%. CONCLUSIONS: Radiofrequency Ablation is an effective and safe tool for the treatment of single Hepatocellular Carcinoma ≤3cm providing excellent 5-year overall survival and disease-free survival rates. Patient's age and liver status appeared as main determinants of outcome.
- liver tumor ablation