Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate need for antibiotic prophylaxis for radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of liver tumors in patients with no significant co-existing risk factors for infection.
Materials and Methods: From January 2004 to September 2013, 83 patients underwent 123 percutaneous RFA procedures for total of 152 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) lesions. None of the patients had pre-existing biliary enteric anastomosis (BEA) or any biliary tract abnormality predisposing to ascending biliary infection or uncontrolled diabetes mellitus. No pre- or post-procedure antibiotic prophylaxis was provided for 121 procedures. Data for potential risk factors were reviewed retrospectively and analyzed for the frequency of infectious complications, including abscess formation.
Results: One patient (1/121 (0.8 %) RFA sessions) developed a large segment 5 liver abscess/infected biloma communicating with the gallbladder 7 weeks after the procedure, successfully treated over 10 weeks with IV and PO antibiotic therapy and percutaneous catheter drainage. This patient did not receive any antibiotics prior to RFA. During the procedure, there was inadvertent placement of RFA probe tines into the gallbladder. No other infectious complications were documented.
Conclusion: These data suggest that the routine use of prophylactic antibiotics for liver RFA is not necessary in majority of the patients undergoing liver ablation for HCC and could be limited to patients with high-risk factors such as the presence of BEA or other biliary abnormalities, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, and large centrally located tumors in close proximity to central bile ducts. Larger randomized studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis.
- Liver tumors
- Radiofrequency ablation