ABSTRACT Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) has been clinically employed in Japan, and its usefulness in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has been reported by many researchers. In the present study, the convex puncture probe PVT-350BTP, rather than a conventional convex probe, was used for RFA for the treatment of HCC and its usefulness was assessed. At the same time, evaluation of the therapeutic effect using ultrasound contrast agent was investigated. The subjects were 20 patients (16 men and 4 women) with 20 HCC nodules as confirmed by contrast CT or abdominal angiography. No nodules were ≤1.0 cm in diameter, 12 were 1.1 cm - 2.0 cm, and 8 were 2.1 cm - 3.0 cm. An Aplio diagnostic ultrasound system (Toshiba Medical Systems, Tokyo, Japan) and the PVT-350BTP probe (Toshiba) were employed for RFA. The PVT-350BTP supports puncture angles of 55, 70, 85, and 100 degrees. By mounting various types of puncture adapters on the probe, 13 G to 22 G puncture needles can be used. The needle can easily be attached and detached by operating a lever. Contrast echo studies with Levovist were performed before and after RFA, and the results were evaluated using the Advanced Dynamic Flow (ADF) imaging technique. Puncture was performed successfully using this probe for 20 cases with 20 nodules. It was confirmed that RFA with the PVT-350BTP permits percutaneous treatment to be performed more reliably than with a conventional probe.
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