Department of Radiology and Center for Imaging Science, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul 135-710, Korea. ; Department of Radiology, Kangwon National University College of Medicine, Chuncheon 200-722, Korea.
To determine whether pretreatment evaluation with contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) is effective for percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with poor conspicuity on conventional ultrasonography (US).
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
This retrospective study was approved by the institutional review board and informed consent was waived. From June 2008 to July 2011, 82 patients having HCCs (1.2 ± 0.4 cm) with poor conspicuity on planning US for RFA were evaluated with CEUS prior to percutaneous RFA. We analyzed our database, radiologic reports, and US images in order to determine whether the location of HCC candidates on planning US coincide with that on CEUS. To avoid incomplete ablation, percutaneous RFA was performed only when HCC nodules were identified on CEUS. The rate of technical success was assessed. The cumulative rate of local tumor progression was estimated with the use of the Kaplan-Meier method (mean follow-up: 24.0 ± 13.0 months).
Among 82 patients, 73 (89%) HCCs were identified on CEUS, whereas 9 (11%) were not. Of 73 identifiable HCCs on CEUS, the location of HCC on planning US corresponded with that on CEUS in 64 (87.7%), whereas the location did not correspond in 9 (12.3%) HCCs. Technical success was achieved for all 73 identifiable HCCs on CEUS in a single (n = 72) or two (n = 1) RFA sessions. Cumulative rates of local tumor progression were estimated as 1.9% and 15.4% at 1 and 3 years, respectively.
Pretreatment evaluation with CEUS is effective for percutaneous RFA of HCCs with poor conspicuity on conventional US.