• Vol. 37 No. 1, 75–76
  • 15 January 2008

Thoracic Complications of Radiofrequency Ablation of Recurrent Hepatoma

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ABSTRACT

Introduction: Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for unresectable primary or secondary hepatic malignancies have gained widespread availability and acceptance over the past 5 years. Complication rates have been reported to range from 0% to 27%.

Clinical Picture: We report a patient with symptomatic right pleural effusion due to a diaphragmatic fistula and another with biliptysis post-RFA, for recurrent hepatoma.

Treatment: Percutaneous drainage of both the pleural effusion and biloma was performed. However, surgical repair of the diaphragmatic fistula was only required for the former for persistent drainage.

Outcome: Both patients were successfully treated with minimal morbidity.

Conclusion: High index of suspicion is required for the early diagnosis and treatment of diaphragmatic fistulas. Simple catheter drainage can potentially obviate the need for surgery.


Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) intended to produce complete thermal necrosis of unresectable primary or secondary hepatic malignancies have gained widespread availability and acceptance over the past 5 years.

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