Image-guided thermal ablation of hepatocellular carcinoma

Riccardo Lencioni, Laura Crocetti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is increasingly diagnosed at an early, asymptomatic stage owing to surveillance of high-risk patients. Given the complexity of the disease, multidisciplinary assessment of tumor stage, liver function, and physical status is required for proper therapeutic planning. Patients with early-stage HCC should be considered for any of the available curative therapies, including surgical resection, liver transplantation and percutaneous image-guided ablation. Resection is currently indicated among patients with solitary HCC and extremely well-preserved liver function, who have neither clinically significant portal hypertension nor abnormal bilirubin. Liver transplantation benefits patients who have decompensated cirrhosis and one tumor smaller than 5 cm or up to three nodules smaller than 3 cm, but donor shortage greatly limits its applicability. This difficulty might be overcome by living donation that, however, is still at an early stage of clinical application. Image-guided percutaneous ablation is the best therapeutic choice for nonsurgical patients with early-stage HCC. While ethanol injection has been the seminal percutaneous technique, radiofrequency ablation has emerged as the most effective method for local tumor destruction and is currently used as the primary ablative modality at most institutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-207
Number of pages8
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2008


  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Image-guided ablation
  • Liver tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


Dive into the research topics of 'Image-guided thermal ablation of hepatocellular carcinoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this