Background: Percutaneous microwave coagulation (PMC) has been accepted as a promising modality in the treatment of tumors in well-vascularized tissues such as liver tumors and hysteromyoma. However, PMC for treatment of tumors in low blood-flow tissues has been seldom reported. The aim of this study was to determine the feasibility and safety of PMC for the treatment of tumors in low blood-flow tissues in a rabbit model.Methods: Fifteen rabbits with VX2 tumors implanted subcutaneously underneath the right second nipple were divided into a PMC group (n = 9) and a control group (n = 6). PMC was performed with output power of 40 W for one to two minutes. The therapeutic efficacy was evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), physical examinations, survival rate, and histology. The cosmetic outcome after PMC was also assessed.Results: In the PMC group, tumor eradication was achieved in six rabbits (66.7%) without any evidence of tumor recurrence and metastasis as proven by MRI and histological examinations. The mean greatest and shortest tumor diameters of these six rabbits were 1.83 and 1.33 cm, respectively. Slight epidermal burns, which proved reversible, were found in seven rabbits (77.8%). The PMC group had a significantly longer survival than those in the control group (P = 0.0097). The four rabbits with coagulated tumors survived more than three months with their tumors becoming nonpalpable and undetectable by MRI and histological examinations.Conclusions: PMC is feasible and safe in the treatment of tumors in low blood-flow tissues in a rabbit model. Attention should be paid to avoid skin burns with PMC. © 2012 Zhou et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.