Prolonged post-ablation fever may predict one-year tumor recurrence in hepatocellular carcinoma after radiofrequency ablation

Ping Hung Ho, Wei Teng*, Chen Chun Lin, Wen Juei Jeng, Wei Ting Chen, Chun Yen Lin, Shi Ming Lin, I. Shyan Sheen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: The impact of prolonged post-ablation fever (PAF) defined as persistent fever > 24 h after radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) had not been described before. This study aims to investigate the impact of prolonged PAF on early tumor recurrence in HCC patients after RFA. Methods: From 2013 to 2015, a total of 135 patients with HCC meeting Milan criteria and all the tumors having confirmed complete ablation after RFA were enrolled. Study endpoint was any HCC recurrence within 1 year after ablation. Cox regression analysis was applied for multivariate analysis to determine the independent predictors of 1-year tumor recurrence. Results: Post-ablation fever occurred in 42 (31.1%) patients after RFA, while prolonged PAF was found in 22 (16.3%) patients. Fifty-eight (42.8%) patients occurred any tumor recurrence within 1 year after complete ablation. Patients with prolonged PAF had a significantly higher rate of HCC recurrence within 1 year (72.7% vs. 37.1%, p = 0.002) and had a significantly shorter time-to-recurrence interval (19.6 vs. 40.5 months, Log rank test, p = 0.002) than those who had no prolonged PAF. Multivariate analysis by Cox regression showed the previous HCC recurrence history (aHR: 1.792, p = 0.0284), baseline AFP > 20 ng/ml (aHR: 1.868, p = 0.0211) and prolonged PAF (aHR: 2.092, p = 0.0138) were associated with early recurrence. Conclusions: Prolonged PAF may associate with early HCC recurrence after complete ablation by RFA. Patients with prolonged PAF need to be more clinical attentions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1008-1015
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Hyperthermia
Issue number1
StatePublished - 01 01 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • HCC
  • NLR
  • RFA
  • early recurrence
  • fever


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