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Table 1 Percutaneous RFA vs. PEI. Summary of characteristics and quality of included studies.

From: Meta-analysis of percutaneous radiofrequency ablation versus ethanol injection in hepatocellular carcinoma

Author/year of publication Design Inclusion criteria RFA
P, [T]
PEI
P, [T]
Child-Pugh
A/B/C
Mean follow-up
(months/years)
Quality
Livraghi 24
1999
quasi-RCT Cirrhosis/chronic hepatitis and HCC ≤ 3 cm. 42, [52] 44, [60] RFA 39/3/0
PEI 38/6/0
10 m. (4–28) 2Diii
Lencioni 26 2003
includes Olschewski25
RCT Cirrhosis, single HCC ≤ 5 cm or 3 nodules ≥ 3 cm each. HCC at 1 cm hepatic hilum or gallbladder. No vascular invasion or extrahepatic metastasis. Child-Pugh: A or B. No previous treatment. No candidate for resection-transplantation. 52, [69] 50, [73] RFA 45/7/0
PEI 35/15/0
RFA 22.9 ± 9.4 m.
PEI 22.4 ± 8.6 m.
1iiA
Lin 27
2004
RCT Cirrhosis, HCC 1–4 cm maximum. Child-Pugh A or B. No previous treatment. Tumour site >5 mm from the hilum or common bile duct. 52, [64] 52, [56] RFA 41/11/0
PEI 39/12/0
RFA 24.5 ± 1.3 m.
PEI 23.8 ± 10.4 m.
1iiA
Lin 28
2005
RCT 1–3 HCC ≤ 3 cm, a minimum of 1 cm from the hilum and gallbladder, no vascular invasion or extrahepatic metastasis. Child-Pugh A or B cirrhosis. Initial treatment. 62, [78] 62, [76] RFA 46/16/0
PEI 47/15/0
RFA 28 ± 12 m.
PEI 26 ± 13 m.
1iiA
Shiina 29
2005
RCT Unresectable HCC or patient's refusal of surgery. ≤ 3 lesions ≤ 3 cm. Child-Pugh A or B. No extrahepatic metastasis or vascular invasion. No previous or simultaneous malignancy. 118, [187] 114, [192] RFA 85/33/0
PEI 85/29/0
RFA 0.6–4.3 y.
PEI 0.1–4.2 y.
1iiA
Brunello 30
2008
RCT Cirrhotic patients in Child-Pugh A or B with 1–3 HCC nodes ≤ 3 cm. Tumour site ≥ 1 cm from the hilum, gallbladder, colon or stomach. No venous invasion, no metastatic disease. Patients no suitable for resection or liver transplantation. 70, [89] 69, [88] RFA 39/31/0
PEI 39/30/0
RFA 26.1 m.
PEI 25.3 m.
1iiA
  1. RCT: randomised controlled trial. RFA: Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation. PEI: Percutaneous ethanol injection; P: patients; T: tumours.
  2. Quality of studies: all based on reference 19.