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Artificial ascites technique for percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of liver cancer adjacent to the gastrointestinal tract. BJS 2006; 93: 1277-1282.

Published: 16th June 2006

Authors: Y. Kondo, H. Yoshida, S. Shiina, R. Tateishi, T. Teratani, M. Omata et al.


Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of liver tumours adjacent to the gastrointestinal tract is controversial. This study assessed the value of an intraperitoneal water infusion (artificial ascites) technique for percutaneous RFA of such tumours.


Before ablation in 52 patients (55 treatments, 58 tumours), between 250 and 3000 (mean 681) ml 5 per cent glucose solution was infused into the abdominal cavity using a 14‐G needle, with the aim of preventing thermal injury by separating the liver from the gastrointestinal tract.


There were no adverse events associated with the artificial ascites technique. In 43 (78 per cent) of the 55 treatments, the liver and gastrointestinal tract were separated successfully. In the other 12 treatments, in which the separation was not confirmed by real‐time ultrasonography, there was one case of perforation of the ascending colon after RFA; adhesion of the liver and colon resulting from previous laparotomy may have been related to the injury.


Production of artificial ascites can be undertaken safely, making RFA safe and effective for hepatic tumours adjacent to the gastrointestinal tract. In patients with possible postoperative adhesions, confirmation of separation of the liver from surrounding organs is mandatory to avoid thermal injury. Copyright © 2006 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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