Ultraschall Med 2012; 33(7): E359-E360
DOI: 10.1055/s-0031-1281662
Case Report

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Severe Skin Burn at Needle Entry Point Complicating Radiofrequency Ablation for Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Schwere Hautverbrennung am Nadeleintrittspunkt als Komplikation einer Radiofrequenzablation bei hepatozellulärem KarzinomM. Pompili, L. Riccardi, M. Garcovich, L. Sollazzi, A. Seccia, G. Rapaccini
Further Information

Publication History

received: 10.4.2011

accepted: 19.7.2011

Publication Date:
31 August 2011 (online)


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the sixth most common cancer worldwide and is the leading cause of death among patients with cirrhosis in Europe and the USA. US-guided percutaneous ablation, with either percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI) or radiofrequency ablation (RFA), is currently regarded as the first-line approach in the treatment of early-stage HCC deemed unsuitable for surgery or liver transplantation. RFA of focal liver lesions is considered safe and effective and has a periprocedural mortality rate of 0.3 %. Major complications occur in 0.9 – 2.5 % of cases and the most common ones are peritoneal bleeding, neoplastic seeding along the needle track, liver abscess, intestinal perforation and bile duct injury (Livraghi T et al. Radiology 2003; 226: 441 – 451; Giorgio A et al. Am J Roentgenol 2005; 184: 207 – 211). Major complications include skin burn at the ground pad site. This complication has been reported to occur in about 0.2 % of cases, but the risk seems to increase with the use of a high-current RFA technique if the surface area of the ground pad is not increased (Rim H et al. Radiographics 2003; 23: 123 – 134). In contrast, the occurrence of skin burn at the point of needle entry into the abdominal wall is very rare. The following provides a report of a peculiar case of serious skin burn at the needle entry point requiring major therapeutic intervention.

Dr. Matteo Garcovich

Internal Medicine, Catholic University of Sacred Heart

Largo Gemelli, 8

00168 Rome


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