European Journal of Surgical Oncology vol:29 issue:10 pages:867-78
AIM: To report and compare the size and geometry of hepatic radiofrequency (RF) lesions using the currently available commercial devices. METHODS: A literature search was carried out for the period from January 1st 1990 to June 15th 2003. The commercial suppliers were asked to provide all available data. For each electrode and protocol, size and geometry of single-cycle thermal lesions were registered. RESULTS: No information at all on size and geometry of the inducible lesions was available for 17 of the 28 current commercial electrodes. Many descriptions of RF lesions are limited to the mean transverse diameter. With normal blood flow, diameter of lesions is often smaller than suggested by the length of the electrode tip or the diameter of the deployed prongs. Lesions are rarely perfect spheres but either ellipses or flattened spheres. Distortion of the RF lesion by nearby blood vessels is very common. Fusion of thermal zones between prongs of expandable electrodes can be incomplete. Blood flow interruption using a Pringle maneuver yields larger lesions that are less distorted and more complete. CONCLUSIONS: There is insufficient experimental data for many electrodes that are currently used in patients. RF companies should provide these data before releasing electrodes for use. For those electrodes for which data exist, coagulation lesions are often smaller, less spherical, less complete and less regular than generally presumed. Accurate knowledge of size and geometry of RF lesions is crucial to prevent local recurrence.