Objectives: This study was designed to evaluate the extent of the radiofrequency ablation zone in relation to the time interval between transcatheter arterial embolisation (TAE) and radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and, ultimately, to determine the optimal strategy of combining these two therapies for hepatocellular carcinoma. Methods: 15 rabbits were evenly divided into three groups: Group A was treated with RFA alone; Group B was treated with TAE immediately followed by RFA; and Group C was treated with TAE followed by RFA 5 days later. All animals underwent perfusion CT (PCT) scans immediately after RFA. Serum liver transaminases were measured to evaluate acute liver damage. Animals were euthanised for pathological analysis of ablated tissues 10 days after RFA. Non-parametric analyses were conducted to compare PCT indices, the RFA zone and liver transaminase levels among the three experimental groups. Results: Group B showed a significantly larger ablation zone than the other two groups. Arterial liver perfusion and hepatic perfusion index represented well the perfusion decrease after TAE on PCT. Although Group B showed the most elevated liver transaminase levels at 1 day post RFA, the enzymes decreased to levels that were not different from the other groups at 10 days post-RFA. Conclusions: When combined TAE and RFA therapy is considered, TAE should be followed by RFA as quickly as possible, as it can be performed safely without serious hepatic deterioration, despite the short interval between the two procedures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging