Author(s): McGahan JP, Brock JM, Tesluk H, Gu WZ, Schneider P
The potential of percutaneous radio-frequency (RF) electrocautery hepatic ablation was evaluated in the animal model. RF hepatic ablation was performed under ultrasound (US) guidance in the liver of 10 swine with use of a specifically designed needle. The needle was placed through the liver capsule, and ablation was performed after isolating the liver at laparotomy. Animals were killed immediately (n = 4), at 1 week (n = 1), 2 weeks (n = 3), or at 5 weeks (n = 2). The US findings were correlated with the pathologic results in the animal livers. RF hepatic ablation was successfully performed in the animal model without complications. Lesions in the animal livers were typically 1 x 2 cm, which initially appeared highly echogenic on US scans. These images corresponded to an area of hepatic necrosis. The lesions became less echogenic shortly after initial treatment but could still be visualized with US at 5 weeks. At histologic study at 5 weeks, the treated livers showed central debris, a larger area of necrotic liver, and a zone of granulation tissue surrounded by a fibrotic capsule. No complications were encountered. RF hepatic ablation shows future promise in treatment of hepatic neoplasms.