Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness and safety of percutaneous laser ablation
for the treatment of cirrhotic patients with hepatocellular carcinoma awaiting liver transplantation.
Materials and methods: The data of 9 male cirrhotic patients (mean age 50 years, range 45 60 years) with
12 biopsy proven nodules of hepatocellular carcinoma (mean diameter 2.0 cm, range 1.0 3.0 cm) treated
by laser ablation before liver transplantation between June 2000 and January 2006 were retrospectively
reviewed. Laser ablation was carried out by inserting 300 nm optical fibers through 21-Gauge needles
(from two to four) positioned under ultrasound guidance into the target lesions. A continuous wave
Neodymium:Yttrium Aluminium Garnet laser was used. Transarterial chemoembolization prior to liver
transplantation was performed in two incompletely ablated tumors.
Results: No procedure-related major complicationswere recorded. During thewaiting time to liver transplantation
local tumor progression after ablation occurred in 3 nodules (25%). At histological examination
of the explanted livers complete necrosiswas found in 8 nodules (66.7%, all treated exclusively with laser
ablation), partial necrosis >50% in 3 nodules (25%), and partial necrosis <50% in 1 nodule.
Conclusion: In patients with cirrhotic livers awaiting liver transplantation, percutaneous laser ablation is
safe and effective for the management of small hepatocellular carcinoma.
- liver transplantation
- percutaneous laser ablation
- small hepatocellular carcinoma