Liver Function Tests Following Irreversible Electroporation of Liver Tumors: Experience in 174 Procedures

Tatiana Froud, Shree Venkat, Katuzka J. Barbery, Arora Gunjan, Govindarajan Narayanan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Irreversible electroporation (IRE) is a relatively new ablation modality that uses electric currents to cause cell death. It is commonly used to treat primary and secondary liver tumors in patients with normal liver function and preexisting cirrhosis. Retrospective analysis of 205 procedures sought to evaluate changes in liver function after IRE. Liver function tests (LFTs) results before and after IRE were evaluated from 174 procedures in 124 patients. Aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase (ALKP), and total bilirubin levels were analyzed. The study was Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliant and institutional review board approved. Informed consent was waived. Changes in LFT results after IRE were compared with baseline and were followed up over time to see if they resolved. Changes were compared with volume of ablation. The greatest perturbations were in transaminase levels. The levels increased sharply within 24 hours after IRE in 129 (74.1%) procedures to extreme levels (more than 20 times the upper limit of normal in one-third of cases). Resolution occurred in 95% and was demonstrated to have occurred by a mean of approximately 10 weeks, many documented as early as 7 days after procedure. ALKP levels elevated in 10% procedures, was slower to increase, and was less likely to resolve. Total bilirubin level demonstrated 2 different patterns of elevation-early and late-and similar to ALKP, it was more likely to remain elevated. There was no increased risk in patients with cirrhosis or cholangiocarcinoma. There was no correlation of levels with volume of ablation. IRE results in significant abnormalities in LFT results, but in most of the cases, these are self-limiting, do not preclude treatment, and are similar to the changes seen after radiofrequency and cryoablation in the liver.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-146
Number of pages7
JournalTechniques in Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Alanine aminotransaminase
  • Alkaline phosphatase
  • ALKP
  • ALT
  • Aspartate aminotransaminase
  • AST
  • Bilirubin
  • Cirrhosis
  • IRE
  • LFTs
  • Liver function
  • TBIL
  • Tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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