Percutaneous Ablation Techniques / Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
Liver ablation techniques
RFA – Mechanism of action
RFA produces movement of ions in the tissue which results in heating and cellular death. Heating to a temperature of 60-100 oC results in almost immediate tissue damage.
RFA is based on producing tissue necrosis using a high-frequency alternating current that is delivered through an electrode placed in the centre of the tumour [19, 20]. Tissue necrosis begins as the temperature approaches 60°C, and RFA treatments often result in local tissue temperatures that approach or exceed 100°C, which result in tumour cell death.
It is possible to treat single tumours of up to 5 cm in diameter, and multiple tumours of <3cm diameter.
Technique of RFA
Figure a – Small peripheral liver tumour in right lobe of liver (black arrow) pre-ablation
Figure b – Intraoperative CT image of RFA needle in position within lesion (white arrow)
Figure c – Post RFA CT image demonstrating tumour necrosis (white arrow)