International multicentre prospective study on microwave ablation of liver tumours: preliminary results


  • This paper was presented at the Ninth World Congress of the International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association, 18–22 April 2010, Buenos Aires.

David A. Iannitti, Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Surgery, Department of General Surgery, Carolinas Medical Center, 1025 Morehead Medical Drive, Suite 300, Charlotte, NC 28204, USA. Tel: + 1 704 355 6220. Fax: + 1 704 355 4965. E-mail:


Background:  Microwave ablation (MWA) is increasingly utilized in the treatment of hepatic tumours. Promising single-centre reports have demonstrated its safety and efficacy, but this modality has not been studied in a prospective, multicentre study.

Methods:  Eighteen international centres recorded operative and perioperative data for patients undergoing MWA for tumours of any origin in a voluntary Internet-based database. All patients underwent operative MWA using a 2.45-GHz generator with a 5-mm antenna.

Results:  Of the 140 patients, 114 (81.4%) were treated with MWA alone and 26 (18.6%) were treated with MWA combined with resection. Multiple tumours were treated with MWA in 40.0% of patients. A total of 299 tumours were treated in these 140 patients. The median size of ablated lesions was 2.5 cm (range: 0.5–9.5 cm). Tumours were treated with a median of one application (range: 1–6 applications) for a median of 4 min (range: 0.5–30.0 min). A power setting of 100 W was used in 78.9% of cases. Major morbidity was 8.3% and in-hospital mortality was 1.9%.

Conclusions:  These multi-institution data demonstrate rapid ablation time and low morbidity and mortality rates in patients undergoing operative MWA with a high rate of multiple ablations and concomitant hepatic resection. Longterm follow-up will be required to determine the efficacy of MWA relative to other forms of ablative therapy.