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PURPOSE: To evaluate preliminary outcomes after microwave ablation (MWA) of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) up to 5 cm and to determine the influence of tumor size. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Electronic records were searched for HCC and MWA. Between January 2011 and September 2014, 173 HCCs up to 5 cm were treated by MWA in 129 consecutive patients (89 men, 40 women; mean age, 66.9 y ± 9.5). Tumor characteristics related to local tumor progression and primary and secondary treatment efficacy were evaluated by univariate analysis. Outcomes were compared between tumors ≤ 3 cm and tumors > 3 cm. RESULTS: Technical success, primary efficacy, and secondary efficacy were 96.5%, 99.4%, and 94.2% at a mean follow-up period of 11.8 months ± 9.8 (range, 0.8-40.6 mo). Analysis of tumor characteristics showed no significant risk factor for local tumor progression, including subcapsular location (P = .176), tumor size (P = .402), and perivascular tumor location (P = .323). The 1-year and 2-year secondary or overall treatment efficacy rates for tumors measuring ≤ 3 cm were 91.2% and 82.1% and for tumors 3.1-5 cm were 92.3% and 83.9% (P = .773). The number of sessions to achieve secondary efficacy was higher in the larger tumor group (1.13 vs 1.06, P = .005). There were three major complications in 134 procedures (2.2%). CONCLUSIONS: With use of current-generation MWA devices, percutaneous ablation of HCCs up to 5 cm can be achieved with high efficacy.

Original publication




Journal article


J vasc interv radiol

Publication Date





623 - 630


Ablation Techniques, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Carcinoma, Hepatocellular, Electronic Health Records, Equipment Design, Female, Humans, Liver Neoplasms, Male, Microwaves, Middle Aged, Postoperative Complications, Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors, Time Factors, Tomography, X-Ray Computed, Treatment Outcome, Tumor Burden