Use of percutaneous drainage to treat hepatic abscess after radiofrequency ablation of metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

Thomas KT, Bream PR, Berlin J, Meranze SG, Wright JK, Chari RS
Am Surg. 2004 70 (6): 496-9

PMID: 15212401

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is well described in the treatment of primary hepatic malignancies and colorectal carcinoma hepatic metastases. A known complication of RFA is the development of hepatic abscess. The management of hepatic abscesses subsequent to RFA for metastatic disease is not well described. A 49-year-old female with pancreatic adenocarcinoma underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy followed by adjuvant chemoradiation. Following 6 months' treatment, a new liver metastasis was identified. It remained stable for 6 months during additional chemotherapy and thereafter was treated with RFA. Three weeks after RFA, the patient presented with malaise and leukocytosis, and a CT scan demonstrated a large hepatic abscess at the site of the RFA. She remained febrile despite needle aspiration and intravenous antibiotics. A percutaneous drain was placed and the symptoms resolved. Contrast injection of the drain 4 weeks later demonstrated resolution of the abscess cavity but communication with the biliary tree. The drain was removed and the tract embolized with Gel-foam to prevent complications of biliary-cutaneous fistula. She remains well without evidence of abscess or disease recurrence. Thus, RFA can be used in treatment of limited isolated hepatic metastases from previously treated pancreatic adenocarcinoma. However, the incidence of hepatic abscess is increased due to bilioenteric anastomosis; extended antibiotic prophylaxis should be considered.

MeSH Terms (10)

Adenocarcinoma Catheter Ablation Drainage Female Humans Liver Abscess Liver Neoplasms Middle Aged Pancreatic Neoplasms Tomography, X-Ray Computed

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