Percutaneous radiofrequency versus microwave ablation for management of hepatocellular carcinoma: A randomized controlled trial

Ahmed Kamal, Amr Aly Abd Elmoety, Yousri Abdel Meguid Rostom, Mohamed Said Shater, Sameh Aldesoky Lashen


Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most common cancer in the world and the third most common cause of cancer related deaths. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and microwave ablation (MWA) are effective measures for HCC management. Although MWA is usually considered to be superior to RFA in the medical community, clinical studies showed contradictory results. We aimed to compare the efficacy of both techniques using a randomized controlled trial.
Methods: We had assessed all patients with definite HCC who were referred to our unit during the period from mid-June 2017 to mid-December 2017 for inclusion in the study. After fulfilling the criteria, patients were randomized to either RFA or MWA. Achieving complete ablation was ensured. Patients were followed up every 3 months after the procedure to detect any tumor recurrence.
Results: There were no statistically significant differences between both techniques regarding complications, local tumor recurrence, development of de novo HCC lesions and changes in the modified Child-Pugh score. Time of ablation using MWA was significantly shorter than RFA (P<0.001).
Conclusions: RFA and MWA are comparable techniques for HCC treatment. Our group couldn’t prove any superiority of MWA over RFA except for the shorter time needed for ablation.