Interventional Radiology - Original Article

Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation for hepatic tumors: factors affecting baseline impedance


  • Sungjun Hwang
  • Jung Wook-Seo
  • Byung Hoon-Lee
  • Suk Hyun-Bae
  • Yoon Kyung-Lee

Received Date: 08.12.2019 Accepted Date: 19.06.2020 Diagn Interv Radiol 2021;27(3):386-393


We aimed to evaluate factors that affect baseline impedance of percutaneous radiofrequency ablation.


In this retrospective study, we analyzed 51 patients with 55 hepatic tumors from November 2015 until April 2018. We measured the baseline impedance nine times with three adjustable tip sizes (2 cm, 2.5 cm, 3 cm) and three different pad locations (two pads attached on the thigh, four on the thigh, two on the back). The first roll-off time was measured with two grounding pads attached on the back. Body mass index, cirrhotic or non-cirrhotic liver parenchyma, previous procedure, tumor location, artificial ascites, active tip size, and the pad location were evaluated as potential factors affecting baseline impedance using the Mann–Whitney U test, t-test and analysis of variance test.


Complete radiofrequency ablation was achieved in 51 patients. Body mass index (p = 0.897), cirrhotic or non-cirrhotic liver parenchyma (p = 0.767), previous procedure (p = 0.957), tumor location (p = 0.906), and artificial ascites (p = 0.882) did not significantly affect baseline impedance. Grounding pads located on the back showed the lowest baseline impedance (p < 0.001). Increase in active tip size showed gradual decrease in baseline impedance (p = 0.016).


The factors affecting baseline impedance were the pad location and the tip size. Positioning pads on the back lowers the baseline impedance and can shorten the first roll-off time, ultimately resulting in reduced total ablation time.