ObjectiveWe wished to evaluate the effect of the Pringle maneuver (occlusion of both the hepatic artery and portal vein) on the pathologic changes in the hepatic vessels, bile ducts and liver parenchyma surrounding the ablation zone in rabbit livers.Materials and MethodsRadiofrequency (RF) ablation zones were created in the livers of 24 rabbits in vivo by using a 50-W, 480-kHz monopolar RF generator and a 15-gauge expandable electrode with four sharp prongs for 7 mins. The tips of the electrodes were placed in the liver parenchyma near the porta hepatis with the distal 1 cm of their prongs deployed. Radiofrequency ablation was performed in the groups with (n=12 rabbits) and without (n=12 rabbits) the Pringle maneuver. Three animals of each group were sacrificed immediately, three days (the acute phase), seven days (the early subacute phase) and two weeks (the late subacute phase) after RF ablation. The ablation zones were excised and serial pathologic changes in the hepatic vessels, bile ducts and liver parenchyma surrounding the ablation zone were evaluated.ResultsWith the Pringle maneuver, portal vein thrombosis was found in three cases (in the immediate [n=2] and acute phase [n=1]), bile duct dilatation adjacent to the ablation zone was found in one case (in the late subacute phase [n=1]), infarction adjacent to the ablation zone was found in three cases (in the early subacute [n=2] and late subacute [n=1] phases). None of the above changes was found in the livers ablated without the Pringle maneuver. On the microscopic findings, centrilobular congestion, sinusoidal congestion, sinusoidal platelet and neutrophilic adhesion, and hepatocyte vacuolar and ballooning changes in liver ablated with Pringle maneuver showed more significant changes than in those livers ablated without the Pringle maneuver (p < 0.05)ConclusionRadiofrequency ablation with the Pringle maneuver created more severe pathologic changes in the portal vein, bile ducts and liver parenchyma surrounding the ablation zone compared with RF ablation without the Pringle maneuver. Therefore, we suggest that RF ablation with the Pringle maneuver should be performed with great caution in order to avoid unwanted thermal injury.
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