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Type: Journal article
Title: Electrochemically-induced hepatic necrosis: the next step forward in patients with unresectable liver tumours?
Author: Baxter, P.
Wemyss-Holden, S.
Dennison, A.
Maddern, G.
Citation: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery, 1998; 68(9):637-640
Issue Date: 1998
ISSN: 1445-1433
Abstract: BACKGROUND:The treatment of patients with unresectable liver tumours remains an unsolved clinical problem. Several methods of locoregional treatment have been developed. These methods rely mainly on direct thermal or chemical insults and consequently have their own inherent limitations in clinical usage. The 'ideal' treatment would combine the direct cytotoxic effects of chemical treatments with the relative predictability of thermal insults, without the associated complications. This study aims to investigate whether the direct chemical effect of electrolytic hepatic necrosis is associated with any heating effect, and if so, whether the temperature change is dose-dependent. METHODS:An electrolytic 'dose' sufficient to induce a localized zone of hepatic necrosis was delivered to the livers of rats and pigs via implanted platinum electrodes. RESULTS:The results showed that there was no significant temperature increase at low current levels (2-4 mA) in the rat liver. In the pig, there was a significant (P < 0.01) increase in temperature of 4.2 degrees C during electrolysis, when delivered at between 20 and 50 mA. However, such a small increase in temperature would have been insufficient to cause appreciable thermal necrosis. CONCLUSIONS:This study demonstrates that electrolysis-induced hepatic necrosis is produced without an increase in temperature; clearly cell death results from the direct effects of cytotoxic electrode products and an alteration of intracellular pH. Consequently, it is likely that as a method for ablating liver tumours, electrolysis should be associated with fewer complications than other forms of locoregional treatment.
Keywords: Liver; Animals; Swine; Rats; Rats, Wistar; Liver Neoplasms; Necrosis; Body Temperature; Electrodes; Cell Death; Electrolysis; Female; Hot Temperature
RMID: 0030004696
DOI: 10.1111/j.1445-2197.1998.tb04833.x
Appears in Collections:Surgery publications

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