Hospital-Based, Acute Care Encounters After RadioFrequency Ablation of Hepatic Tumours

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The use of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for cancer is increasing; however, post-discharge outcomes have not been well described. The aim of the present study was to determine rates of hospital-based, acute care utilization within 30 days of discharge after RFA.


Using state-level data from California, patients were identified who were at least 40 years of age who underwent RFA of hepatic tumours without a concurrent liver resection from 2007–2011. Our primary outcome was hospital readmissions or emergency department visits within 30 days of discharge. A multivariable regression model was constructed to identify patient factors associated with these events.


The final sample included 1764 patients treated at 100 centres. Hospital readmissions (11.3/100 discharges), emergency department visits (6.0/100 discharges) and overall acute care utilization (17.3/100 discharges) were common. Most encounters occurred within 10 days of discharge for diagnoses related to the procedure. Patients with renal failure [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.98 (1.11–3.53)], obesity [AOR = 1.69 (1.03–2.77)], drug abuse [AOR = 2.95 (1.40–6.21)] or those experiencing a complication [AOR = 1.52 (1.07–2.15)] were more likely to have a hospital-based acute care encounter within 30 days of discharge.


Hospital-based acute care after RFA is common. Patients should be counselled regarding the potential for acute care utilization and interventions targeted to high-risk populations.


This paper was accepted for oral presentation at the Society of Surgical Oncology 66th Annual Cancer Symposium, March 6–9, 2013.