Cryoablation in the liver: how accurately does the iceball predict the ablation zone?

Shamar Young, Art Abamyan, Dan Goldberg, Jack Hannallah, David Schaub, Salil Kalarn, Zachary Fitzgerald, Gregory Woodhead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To evaluate the accuracy with which the iceball predicts the realized ablation zone in patients undergoing cryoablation of the liver. Materials and methods: Continuous patients who underwent cryoablation of primary or secondary malignancies of the liver were retrospectively reviewed. Iceball and ablation zone dimensions on 1 month follow up imaging were collected in three orientations, the long axis (LA), perpendicular transverse (PTR), and perpendicular craniocaudal (PCC). Factors which may predict differences in the measurements were evaluated with regression analysis. Oncologic outcomes were also collected. Results: The mean size of the iceball was 5.5 ± 1.1 cm, 3.9 ± 1.1 cm, and 4.4 ± 1.4 cm in the LA, PTR, and PCC orientations, respectively. The mean size of the one-month ablation cavity was 4.3 ± 1.3 cm, 3 ± 1.1 cm, and 3 ± 1.3 cm in the LA, PTR, and PCC orientations, respectively. The iceball was significantly larger than the ablation zone in all orientations (p < 0.001). When comparing HCC and non-HCC patients the Kaplan–Meier analysis of TTLP, the Kaplan Meier curves deviated significantly (p = 0.015, HR 2.26 (95%CI 1.17–4.37)). When a similar analysis was performed looking at TTP again the curves diverged significantly (p = 0.002, HR 2.4 (95%CI 1.37–4.19)). Conclusion: The iceball seems to overestimate the realized ablation zone by about 1 cm in all orientations during hepatic cryoablation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-630
Number of pages6
JournalAbdominal Radiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • Cryoablation
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Metastatic colorectal cancer
  • Metastatic liver cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology
  • Urology


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