CT-guided microwave ablation of hepatic malignancies via transpulmonary approach without ancillary techniques

Driss Raissi, Sreeja Sanampudi, Qian Yu, Michael Winkler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: The objectives of the study were to determine the safety and efficacy of computed tomography (CT)- guided transpulmonary percutaneous microwave ablation (MWA) for hepatic malignancies without the use of ancillary techniques. Material and Methods: A retrospective review was performed on patients who underwent MWA for hepatic malignancy between January 2014 and February 2020 at a single tertiary center. Imaging was reviewed for each procedure to identify MWA showing transpleural transgression on CT scans. For these patients, demographics, ablation data, pulmonary complication rate, and predictors of pneumothorax were analyzed. Results: A total of 71 consecutive sessions (62.1 ± 11.3 years, 79% of males) of MWA were performed to treat 71 tumors (1.90 ± 0.96 cm) via transpulmonary approach under CT guidance. Technical success was achieved in all cases immediately after the procedure. At 1-month follow-up, 65/69 (94.2%) patients had no residual disease (two patients were lost to follow-up). Pulmonary complications occurred in 26/71 (36.6%) sessions, and 15/26 (57.7%) were minor requiring no intervention. Pneumothorax occurred in 14/71 (19.7%) sessions, and the rate of major pneumothorax requiring chest tube was 8/71 (11.3%). Lesions on the left side of the liver (segments I-IV) and intraprocedural probe adjustment were found to be independent predictors of developing major pneumothorax (P = 0.007 and 0.028, respectively). There were no reported pulmonary complications at the 1-month follow-up. Conclusion: CT-guided transpulmonary MWA is safe and effective in treating hepatic malignancies. Although it is associated with the risk of developing pulmonary complications, patients underwent successful ablation of their hepatic malignancies without life-threatening complications and mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2
JournalJournal of Clinical Imaging Science
StatePublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Computed tomography
  • Hepatic malignancy
  • Liver tumor
  • Microwave ablation
  • Percutaneous thermal ablation
  • Pneumothorax
  • Transpulmonary
  • Transthoracic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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