Microwave ablation of liver tumors: degree of tissue contraction as compared to RF ablation

Jeong Kyong Lee, Surachate Siripongsakun, Simin Bahrami, Steven S. Raman, James Sayre, David S. Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Purpose: To compare the amount of tissue contraction after microwave (MW) versus radiofrequency (RF) ablation of liver tumors. Materials and methods: Seventy-five hepatic tumors in 65 patients who underwent percutaneous MW or RF ablations were included in this retrospective study. All patients underwent MRI within 6 months before the ablation and 24 h after the procedure. Two blinded radiologists, by consensus, performed measurements on the corresponding series of pre and post-ablation MRI. Absolute and relative contraction of liver, tumor, and control were calculated and compared. Results: Thirty-one patients underwent MW ablations, and 44 patients underwent RF ablations. The absolute and relative contraction of the ablation zone were significantly greater with MW than RF ablation (p = 0.003 to <0.001). Thirty-two lesions were visible on both pre- and post-ablation MRI. MW ablation had significantly more tumor contraction as compared to RF ablation (p = 0.003 to 0.009). The control measurements demonstrated no significant difference in normal tissue variation between MW and RF groups. Conclusions: MW ablation of hepatic tumors produced significantly more contraction of tumor and ablated hepatic tissue compared to RF ablation. Tissue contraction should be taken into account during pre-procedural planning and assessing treatment response by comparing pre- and post-ablation images.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-666
Number of pages8
JournalAbdominal Radiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Liver contraction
  • Liver tumor
  • Microwave ablation
  • Radiofrequency ablation


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