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Image-guided Percutaneous Ablation of Lung Malignancies: A Minimally Invasive Alternative for Nonsurgical Patients or Unresectable Tumors

Chamarthy, Murthy R. MD*; Gupta, Mohit MD*; Hughes, Terence W. MD*,†; Velasco, Noel B. MD*,†; Cynamon, Jacob MD; Golowa, Yosef MD

Journal of Bronchology & Interventional Pulmonology: January 2014 - Volume 21 - Issue 1 - p 68–81
doi: 10.1097/LBR.0000000000000008
Review Article

Lung cancer remains the malignancy with the highest mortality and second highest incidence in both men and women within the United States. Image-guided ablative therapies are safe and effective for localized control of unresectable liver, renal, bone, and lung tumors. Local ablative therapies have been shown to slow disease progression and prolong disease-free survival in patients who are not surgical candidates, either due to local extent of disease or medical comorbidities. Commonly encountered complications of percutaneous ablation of lung tumors include pneumothorax, pleural inflammation, pleural effusions, and pneumonia, which are usually easily managed. This review will discuss the merits of image-guided ablation in the treatment of lung tumors and the underlying mechanism, procedural techniques, clinical utility, toxicity, imaging of tumor response, and future developments, with a focus on radiofrequency ablation.

*Department of Radiology, Bridgeport Hospital, Yale New Haven Health System

Department of Radiology, St Vincent’s Medical Center, Bridgeport, CT

Department of Radiology, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY

Disclosure: There is no conflict of interest or other disclosures.

Reprints: Murthy R. Chamarthy, MD, Department of Radiology, Bridgeport Hospital, Yale New Haven Health System, 267 Grant St, Bridgeport, CT 06010 (e-mail:

Received December 9, 2012

Accepted August 21, 2013

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.