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Surgery (resection or transplantation) is the treatment of choice for early hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) but unfortunately it is feasible in only a minority of patients.1 Local percutaneous ablation has therefore dramatically increased in importance and radiofrequency thermal ablation (RFTA) has been shown in recent reports to have global or disease free survival better than that reported for percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI).2 The recent report in Gut apparently also supports the superiority, albeit small, of RFTA over PEI or acetic acid injection in a randomised prospective controlled study (Gut 2005;54:1151–6). Nevertheless, not all agree on the efficacy of RFTA3 and major complications have been described.4 In Lin et al’s study (Gut …
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