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Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of pulmonary metastases in patients with colorectal cancer. BJS 2004; 91: 217-223.

Published: 25th November 2003

Authors: J. King, D. Glenn, W. Clark, J. Zhao, K. Steinke, P. Clingan et al.


This study aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of imaging‐guided percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for local control of lung metastases from colorectal cancer (CRC).


Twenty patients with lung metastases from CRC were treated with a RITA® Starburst XL electrode and RITA® 1500 generator using temperature control and impedance monitoring. Patients received intravenous sedation and analgesia, or local anaesthetic, and stayed in hospital for at least 24 h after treatment. RFA was assessed with computed tomography (CT) at 1 week and 1 month, and then every 3 months.


Forty‐four CRC lung metastases in 19 patients were treated successfully at 25 treatment sessions. Five of 19 patients were retreated for new lesions. There were 13 pneumothoraces following the 25 treatments, and six patients required drainage. The median length of follow‐up was 730 (range 148–924) days. Six months after treatment CT demonstrated that three lesions had progressed, 25 metastases were stable or smaller, and 11 were no longer visible. At 12 months five metastases had progressed, 11 were smaller or stable, and nine were not visible.


Percutaneous imaging‐guided RFA was associated with modest morbidity. RFA can achieve local control of CRC lung metastases: nine of 25 metastases were not visible on CT at 12 months after treatment. Copyright © 2003 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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