Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy and safety of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) as a less invasive
treatment alternative for atypical cartilaginous tumors.
Materials and methods: Data of all consecutive RFA procedures for atypical cartilaginous tumors between 2007-2018 were
analyzed, including temperature, amount of needle positions and ablation time per position. Tumor volume was measured on preoperative
MRI and ablation zone was assessed on 3-month postprocedural MRI. RFA outcome parameters were ablation result (R0:
complete with margin (≥2mm), R1: complete without margin (<2mm) and R2: incomplete) and occurrence of complications.
Results: In 84.4% of cases complete ablation was achieved (66.7% R0, 17.7% R1). In 15.6% of procedures ablation was
incomplete (R2). No recurrences were seen after R0/1 ablations (with minimum two years follow-up). R0 was achieved significantly
more frequent in smaller tumors (p = .027, odds ratio (OR) = 1.04 (per cm3) and with longer ablation time per needle (p = .048, OR
= .894). Temperature >80°C (p = .026, OR = 7.57) resulted in more complete (R0 or R1) ablations without increasing complication
rate (p = .579) compared to temperature of 71-80°C. In 15 procedures (7.9%) a complication occurred.
Conclusion: RFA provides promising results for treatment of atypical cartilaginous tumors with complete ablation (R0, R1) in
84.4% of procedures. Complication rates are comparable with open surgery and the amount of fractures is lower. These encouraging
data support the potential of RFA to replace more invasive surgical approaches.