Background: To analyze long-term oncological outcomes of open and percutaneous thermal ablation in the treatment of patients with colorectal liver metastases (CRLM). Methods: This assessment from a prospective, longitudinal tumor registry included 329 patients who underwent 541 procedures for 1350 CRLM from January 2010 to February 2021. Three cohorts were formed: 2010–2013 (129 procedures [53 percutaneous]), 2014–2017 (206 procedures [121 percutaneous]) and 2018–2021 (206 procedures [135 percutaneous]). Local tumor progression-free survival (LTPFS) and overall survival (OS) data were estimated using the Kaplan–Meier method. Potential confounding factors were analyzed with uni- and multivariable Cox regression analyses. Results: LTPFS improved significantly over time for percutaneous ablations (2-year LTPFS 37.7% vs. 69.0% vs. 86.3%, respectively, P <.0001), while LTPFS for open ablations remained reasonably stable (2-year LTPFS 87.1% [2010–2013], vs. 92.7% [2014–2017] vs. 90.2% [2018–2021], P =.12). In the latter cohort (2018–2021), the open approach was no longer superior regarding LTPFS (P =.125). No differences between the three cohorts were found regarding OS (P =.088), length of hospital stay (open approach, P =.065; percutaneous approach, P =.054), and rate and severity of complications (P =.404). The rate and severity of complications favored the percutaneous approach in all three cohorts (P =.002). Conclusion: Over the last 10 years efficacy of percutaneous ablations has improved remarkably for the treatment of CRLM. Oncological outcomes seem to have reached results following open ablation. Given its minimal invasive character and shorter length of hospital stay, whenever feasible, percutaneous procedures may be favored over an open approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1074-1089
Number of pages16
JournalCardioVascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022


  • Colorectal liver metastases (CRLM)
  • Local tumor progression-free survival (LTPFS)
  • Long-term oncological outcomes
  • Microwave ablation (MWA)
  • Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)

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