Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of benign thyroid nodules assisted by a virtual needle tracking system.
Our aim was to assess the feasibility and outcome of ultrasound (US)-guided percutaneous radiofrequency (RF) ablation of benign thyroid nodules assisted by a real-time virtual needle tracking (VT) system.
Forty-five patients (34 females, mean age ± standard deviation (SD): 44 ± 16 y, range: 29-68 y) with 45 benign non-functioning thyroid nodules (mean volume ± SD: 13.5 ± 6.7 mL, range: 12-22 mL) underwent VT-assisted US-guided RF ablation.
Nodule volume was evaluated before treatment and during 6-mo of follow-up.
Complication rates and patient satisfaction after treatment were also evaluated. By use of the VT system, the tip of the RF electrode was identified during all ablation procedures.
The overall mean volume reduction and complication rate were 72.6 ± 11.3% and 2.5%, respectively.
Overall satisfaction at the 6-mo follow-up was rated by patients as positive in 42 cases (93%).
The VT system could be useful in thyroid nodule ablation procedures because it is able to track the RF electrode tip even when the tip is obscured by the bubbles produced by the ablative process.
VT-assisted RF ablation can be a tolerable, non-surgical treatment for patients with benign non-functioning thyroid nodules.
Comments: Teaching RFA in workshops will be easier with for beginners.The tip will be visible when with micro-bubbles.