Impact of Radiofrequency Ablation on Malignant Biliary Strictures: Results of a Collaborative Registry

Reem Z. Sharaiha, Amrita Sethi, Kristen R. Weaver, Tamas A. Gonda, Raj J. Shah, Norio Fukami, Prashant Kedia, Nikhil A. Kumta, Carlos M.Rondon Clavo, Michael D. Saunders, Jorge Cerecedo-Rodriguez, Paola Figueroa Barojas, Jessica L. Widmer, Monica Gaidhane, William R. Brugge, Michel Kahaleh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Background: Radiofrequency ablation of malignant biliary strictures has been offered for the last 3 years, but only limited data have been published. Aim: To assess the safety, efficacy, and survival outcomes of patients receiving endoscopic radiofrequency ablation. Methods: Between April 2010 and December 2013, 69 patients with unresectable neoplastic lesions and malignant biliary obstruction underwent 98 radiofrequency ablation sessions with stenting. Results: A total of 69 patients (22 male, aged 66.1 ± 13.3) were included in the registry. The etiology of malignant biliary stricture included unresectable cholangiocarcinoma (n = 45), pancreatic cancer (n = 19), gallbladder cancer (n = 2), gastric cancer (n = 1), and liver metastasis from colon cancer (n = 3). Seventy-eight percentage of patients had prior chemotherapy. All strictures were stented post-radiofrequency ablation with either plastic stents or metal stents. The mean stricture length treated was 14.3 mm. There was a statistically significant improvement in stricture diameter post-ablation (p < 0.0001). The likelihood of stricture improvement was significantly greater in pancreatic cancer-associated strictures [RR 1.8 (95 % 1.03–5.38)]. Seven patients (10 %) had adverse events, not linked directly to radiofrequency ablation. Median survival was 11.46 months (6.2–25 months). Conclusion: Radiofrequency ablation is effective and safe in malignant biliary obstruction and seems to be associated with improved survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2164-2169
Number of pages6
JournalDigestive diseases and sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 13 2015


  • Biliary obstruction
  • Cholangiocarcinoma
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Stent patency
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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