CT-monitored minimal ablative margin control in single-session microwave ablation of liver tumors: an effective strategy for local tumor control

Ijin Joo, Kenneth W. Morrow, Steven S. Raman, Justin P. McWilliams, James W. Sayre, David S. Lu

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1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: To investigate the usefulness of minimal ablative margin (MAM) control by intra-procedural contrast-enhanced CT (CECT) in microwave ablation (MWA) of liver tumors. Methods: A total of 334 consecutive liver tumors (240 hepatocellular carcinomas [HCCs] and 94 colorectal liver metastases [CRLMs]) in 172 patients treated with percutaneous MWA were retrospectively included. MAM of each tumor was assessed after expected ablation completion using intra-procedural CECT, allowing within-session additional ablation to any potentially insufficient margin. On immediate post-MWA MRI, complete ablation coverage of tumor and final MAM status were determined. The cumulative local tumor progression (LTP) rate was estimated by using the Kaplan-Meier method. To identify predictors of LTP, Cox regression analysis with a shared frailty model was performed. Results: Intra-procedural CECT findings prompted additional ablation in 18.9% (63/334) of tumors. Final complete ablation coverage of tumor and sufficient MAM were determined by MRI to be achieved in 99.4% (332/334) and 77.5% (259/334), and their estimated 6-month, 1-year, and 2-year LTP rates were 3.2%, 7.5%, and 12.9%; and 1.0%, 2.1%, and 6.9%, respectively. Insufficient MAM on post-MWA MRI, perivascular tumor location, and tumor size (cm) were independent risk factors for LTP (hazard ratio = 14.4, 6.0, and 1.1, p < 0.001, p = 0.003, and p = 0.011, respectively), while subcapsular location and histology (HCC vs CRLM) were not. Conclusions: In MWA of liver tumors, intra-procedural CECT monitoring of minimal ablative margin facilitates identification of potentially suboptimal margins and guides immediate additional intra-session ablation to maximize rates of margin-sufficient ablations, the latter being a highly predictive marker for excellent long-term local tumor control. Key Points: • In MWA of liver tumors, intra-procedural CECT can identify potentially suboptimal minimal ablative margin, leading to immediate additional ablation in a single treatment session. • Achieving a finally sufficient ablative margin through the MWA with intra-procedural CECT monitoring of minimal ablative margin results in excellent local tumor control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6327-6335
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Radiology
Volume32
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022

Keywords

  • Ablation techniques
  • Computed tomography
  • Liver neoplasms
  • Microwaves
  • X-ray

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