A national analysis of the complications, cost, and mortality of percutaneous lung ablation

Brian T. Welch, Waleed Brinjikji, Grant D. Schmit, Matthew R Callstrom, A. Nicholas Kurup, Harry J. Cloft, David A Woodrum, Francis C. Nichols, Thomas D. Atwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose To perform a national analysis of the safety and cost of percutaneous image-guided lung malignancy ablation. Materials and Methods Using the National (Nationwide) Inpatient Sample, we evaluated complications, need for further intervention, in-hospital mortality, length of hospitalization, and hospital charges for patients undergoing inpatient percutaneous image-guided lung ablation in the United States during the period 2007-2011. Additionally, an analysis of the relationship between specific patient factors, procedural complications, and mortality was performed. Results The study group consisted of 3,344 patients, including 2,072 (61.9%) patients treated for primary lung carcinomas and 1,277 (38.1%) patients treated for pulmonary metastatic disease. In-hospital mortality occurred after 43 (1.3%) ablation procedures. A Charlson comorbidity index score ≥ 4 was associated with higher mortality (odds ratio [OR], 2.84; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.16-6.91). Pneumothorax was the most common complication (38.4%), followed by pneumonia (5.7%) and effusion (4.0%). Neither pneumothorax nor chest tube insertion was associated with higher in-hospital mortality rates (pneumothorax, OR, 1.10; 95% CI, 0.59-2.04, and chest tube insertion, OR, 1.45; 95% CI, 0.78-2.68). Surgical reintervention via thoracoscopy or thoracotomy occurred in 31 cases (0.9%). Median length of hospitalization was 1 day (interquartile range, 1-3 d), and median hospital charges were $22,320 (interquartile range, $13,705-$43,026). Conclusions Percutaneous image-guided lung ablation of primary and metastatic disease has an acceptable safety profile, and surgical reintervention is rarely required. The most frequent complications of percutaneous lung ablation were not associated with increased in-hospital mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)787-791
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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