Radiofrequency ablation for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma with decompensated cirrhosis

Akiko Wakuta, Kazuhiro Nouso, Kazuya Kariyama, Mamoru Nishimura, Masayuki Kishida, Nozomu Wada, Takaaki Mizushima, Toshihiro Higashi, Mitsune Tanimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is used to treat early-stage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but is sometimes avoided in patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis because of the possible side effect of deterioration of liver function. Aims: In this study, we report the safety and effects of RFA for treating HCC patients with Child-Pugh B/C liver cirrhosis. Methods: Sixty-six consecutive HCC patients with Child-Pugh B/C cirrhosis, who were treated by RFA, were enrolled in this study. We analyzed patient outcomes, the complications of RFA, and changes in liver function and tumor markers. Results: Fifty-six patients were classified as Child-Pugh class B, and 10 were classified as class C. The overall survival rates in patients with Child-Pugh B and C cirrhosis were 82 and 83% at 1 year and 47 and 31% at 3 years, respectively. Serum total bilirubin (T.Bil), albumin, prothrombin time, ascites, and encephalopathy were unchanged at 1, 3, and 6 months after RFA in patients with Child-Pugh B cirrhosis; however, serum T.Bil levels increased significantly at 6 months after RFA in 6/10 (60%) patients with Child-Pugh C cirrhosis. Hemothorax and rupture of esophageal varices were observed in 2 patients; however, there were no complications related to poor liver function. Conclusion: RFA is a useful modality for treating HCC in patients with poor liver function such as Child-Pugh B and C, but careful monitoring after RFA must be needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-44
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


  • Decompensated cirrhosis
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Radiofrequency ablation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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