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Transurethral radiofrequency therapy for benign prostatic hyperplasia using a novel saline-liquid conductor: the virtual electrode1

      Radiofrequency (RF) energy has been introduced as a promising energy source for treatment of benign and malignant tumors in animal models, as well as in humans.
      • Rossi S.
      • Di Stasi M.
      • Buscarini E.
      • et al.
      Percutaneous radiofrequency interstitial thermal ablation in the treatment of small hepatocellular carcinoma.
      ,
      • Djavan B.
      • Zlotta A.R.
      • Susani M.
      • et al.
      Transperineal radiofrequency interstitial tumor ablation (RITA) of the prostate correlation of magnetic resonance imaging with histopathological examination.
      ,
      • De Berg J.C.
      • Pattynama P.M.T.
      • Obermaun W.I.R.
      • et al.
      Percutaneous computed-tomography-guided thermocoagulation for osteoid osteomas.
      In urology, minimally invasive heat-based treatment options, including microwave and RF energy, have been used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) with much enthusiasm. The clinical utility of microwave-based treatments has been reviewed elsewhere.
      • Djavan B.
      • Larsen T.
      • Blute M.
      • et al.
      Transurethral microwave thermotherapy what role should it play versus medical management in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia?.
      This update focusses on the physics, applicability, and advantages of a novel saline-liquid conductor electrode for delivery of heat-based therapy to prostatic tissue. In contrast with other heat-based treatment modalities, such as microwave (dielectric heating) and high-intensity focused ultrasound (mechanical distortion), RF energy generates interstitial heat by inducing translational molecular motion.
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